Kane, Blackhawks discuss racial unrest; 'hopeful' for change
The tragic death of George Floyd at the hand of a Minneapolis police officer has sparked outrage and protests across the country for more than three weeks.
It has also lit a fire under several professional athletes, many of whom are finding their voice while also digging into their wallets to support causes they believe in.
One of the more impressive examples came on June 5 when Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane sent out a series of tweets, saying he wants to "help in this fight for change." In Kane's third tweet, he said he'd be making a donation to two organizations: My Block, My Hood, My City and the All Stars Project of Chicago.
During a video conference call last Thursday with reporters, Kane explained why he spoke up and provided financial assistance.
"Sometimes you feel like maybe you shouldn't say anything because you're uneducated and uninformed, and you don't understand what is going on completely," Kane said. "But for me -- whether you like it or not -- there's a big following out there. Just tried to get a message across from what I understood and gathered from the few days prior to me sending that tweet.
"It seemed like it was a pretty good response. If I can help one or two kids kind of understand the direction of this world or where we're at in our society, that's a win for me."
The subject of racism was repeatedly brought up during the two-hour conference call, which included Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Connor Murphy, coach Jeremy Colliton and GM Stan Bowman.
"We all need to be part of the solution," Bowman said. "The key thing is for us to realize the first step in trying to make anything better is to recognize that there's a problem. ... I think that's where we're at right now. ...
"The next step -- the important one -- is how can we make it better? I think we all want to be part of that. I know I certainly do.
"It's been inspiring to see the comments from all athletes, not just Blackhawk players. I am hopeful that this can be a springboard to a better world where people treat each other better."
Murphy and Colliton expressed eloquent thoughts as well.
Colliton said everyone needs to have equal opportunity, "regardless of their back ground or their race. And obviously we're not there yet."
Colliton then drew an analogy, saying the racial unrest in the country isn't much different than a sports team that has selfish athletes on it. When too many of those exist, it poisons the culture and leaves some teammates feeling left out.
"On those teams there ends up being a lot of finger pointing and excuse making," Colliton said. "Hopefully what comes out of this is everyone feels a responsibility to make things better for everyone."