(CBSNewYork)- New York Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller took to Twitter Tuesday to express his feelings of frustration and anger over the racist treatment he received when being introduced to the team’s fans in April.
Miller, a Minnesota native, also addressed the current unrest in the country following the death of George Floyd, saying that he wants to express “my growing concern for the safety of our citizens of color, specifically in my home state, given recent events.”
Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/8RFWwSEaaE
— K'Andre Miller (@kandre_miller) June 1, 2020
The full statement reads:
“I’ve struggled for months to find the words to express my frustration and anger over the Zoom conference call incident when I was to be introduced after signing my NHL contract. It’s something that I won’t ever forget. But with COVID-19 taking a stranglehold on the nation, it seemed like there were so many other priorities in the world, that it wasn’t my place to speak out about that incident. This pandemic isn’t discriminatory, it has been difficult for everyone and the priority was to keep everyone safe.
Now, in the midst of the senseless death of George Floyd, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the peaceful protests and violent riots have become the focus for all of us. I want to express my growing concern for the safety of our citizens of color specifically in my home state, given recent events.
I struggle because I’ve never been fully accepted by either the black community or the white community. I struggle because for years I have been one of the only people of color on my hockey teams. I have been targeted because of my race when I was in youth hockey by some coaches, parents and players, but I refused to give up because of my love for the game.
You can only imagine how it felt to have an organization like the New York Rangers draft me, the hockey player. For that one moment in time I didn’t have to be defined by the color of my skin but rather on my hockey skills, athletic ability and character. This is how it should be all the time. It’s time for action, time for change and once and for all, it’s time to let black people be judged based on who we are not what we look like.”
The 20-year-old Miller was selected 22nd overall by the Rangers in the 2018 Draft and was signed to an entry-level contract earlier this year. During the Zoom Q&A introducing him to fans, the comments section was overrun by racial slurs before the comments were eventually turned off.