San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane told to ‘stick to basketball,’ speaks out on racism in hockey

San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane spoke out about racism in hockey after someone commented on his Instagram post, telling Kane to “stick to basketball” on Wednesday.

Kane posted a photo of himself on the ice to Instagram on Wednesday afternoon, seemingly excited about the start of the Sharks’ NHL season against the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 2.

“Where it’s all gonna start this season #35days until #1of82,” Kane’s caption said.

Several fans – and even the Sharks’ official Instagram account – echoed his excitement in the comments on the photo. But one person’s racist comment elicited a strong response from Kane.

“Stick to basketball,” the person wrote in a now-deleted comment.

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Kane took a screenshot of the comment and used it as an opportunity to talk about the racism that he’s experienced as a black hockey player.

“This is what I’m talking about, happens all the time just never publicly talked about and just ignored,” Kane wrote on Instagram. He claimed that the “exact same thing was shouted” at him during a Sharks hockey game in Denver.

“It’s racially motivated, IT IS a problem in society and in SPORTS,” he wrote.

He went on to speak about how “there is focus” on racism in other major professional sports like basketball, football and baseball.

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“But in the Hockey world it’s easier to ignore, dismiss and forget because let’s face the facts hockey is a white sport. But there are black players in the league and other minorities in our sport,” he wrote.

“Time to notice it, and give it the attention it deserves. The old way of thinking is done!”

He posted about the incident to Twitter, too, where he said, “I like basketball but my profession is HOCKEY. Thanks.”

This isn’t the first time that Kane has spoken out about racism in hockey. “I think a good portion of it is because I’m black and I’m not afraid to say that,” he told the Hockey News in 2013 when speaking about the perception of him as one of the NHL’s bad boys.

And in 2018, he told the San Jose Mercury News about advice his father gave him when he experienced racism in youth hockey leagues. “At the end of the day that will just make you mentally tougher. It will help you with other things in life,” Kane told the paper.

“We had the attitude of, bring it on.”

Drew Costley is an SFGATE editorial assistant. Email: drew.costley@sfgate.com | Twitter: @drewcostley

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sharks/article/evander-kane-racism-in-hockey-stick-basketball-nhl-14396243.php.

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