Wheeler says players “can’t keep quiet” about racism

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Blake wheeler On Tuesday, the heart spoke about racism, why more NHL players are talking about it now and how it hopes it can help change.

Captain of the Winnipeg Jets grew up 20 minutes from Minneapolis, where a white police officer was charged with third degree murder after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, on May 25, triggering protests in cities in the United States .

“Obviously, he’s back,” said Wheeler.

Calling the destruction caused by some heartbreakers, Wheeler said for the most part that he was proud of his hometown “for people who stand up and no longer tolerate this and help each other clean up the mess.”

Wheeler was one of the first NHL players to publicly share his thoughts when he wrote a post on his Twitter account on Saturday. Since then, more and more NHL players and teams have made statements via social media.

Why now? Especially for white players like Wheeler, when a black player like San Jose Sharks striker Evander Kane, who played with Wheeler in Winnipeg, has it been around for a long time?

Wheeler cited video footage of Floyd’s death and the NHL season break since March 12 due to concerns over the coronavirus.

“I think putting a visual on what we’re talking about, I think it has changed for a lot of people,” said the striker. “I think you’ve read about it and you hear about it and you know it’s injustice and you know how horrible it is, but once you see it, you can … It puts in a new light.

“Being in a pandemic right now when people … You know, there is no other distraction. We are not preparing for a match tomorrow. Our minds are not going elsewhere yet. Like, we are really capable of digesting this, and I think it has gotten to the point where you guys … You can’t stay silent anymore. “

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Wheeler and his wife Sam showed information to their children: Louie, 7; Leni, 5; and Mase, almost 3.

“They watched George Floyd die on television,” said Wheeler.

Although things may not fit as well for young children, they are difficult to explain to the 7 year old child.

“I mean, he asks,” Why doesn’t he come down from his neck? Why doesn’t he come down from his neck? “Said Wheeler.

The Wheelers did not go to Minnesota, self-quarantining at their Florida off-season home.

“We would have liked to take our family to the demonstration to show [the children] how powerful it can be and really what a beautiful thing it was, all the people who come together in our hometown, “said Wheeler. So we talked about it a lot and showed them as much as possible to try to continue this education and try to show them and really get the impression in their minds that this is what it should look like. “

Wheeler said that white athletes must be as involved as black athletes.

“It cannot be just their fight,” he said. “… I want to be very clear here: I look in the mirror before I look at everyone. I wish I was more involved sooner than I was. I wish it didn’t take me that long to get behind significantly. But I guess what you can do is try to be better in the future. …

“As professional athletes, we have a platform. I think that in itself is a big step to put yourself forward and talk about it. It is not an easy thing to do. … I think this is something that we need to be more comfortable with over time, but we have to agree to voice our opinion on this. “

Wheeler, who has represented the United States in international competition, said he firmly believed it had nothing to do with politics.

“I think we can all agree that this is a problem and that human rights should apply to everyone,” he said. “Whether I vote Democrat or Republican, I think I can find a candidate on each side that it matters and I agree that it has to stop. “

When asked if he was worried about his country, Wheeler replied, “Yes, terribly, honestly. He talked about how worried he was by nature and the seemingly endless list of problems.

“For a country to go through all of this economically, socially, and then we are always, we are always treating each other like that, yes, that is worrisome,” he said. “But being American, growing up, I really believe that better days are coming, and through this anxiety and through this fear and through this kind of concern for the country, I am optimistic and optimistic for the future . “

Wheeler’s father Jim grew up in Detroit, which experienced racial unrest in the late 1960s.

“He just said,” My generation didn’t get it right, and I hope your generation will, “said Wheeler. “So I hope my generation and the generation of my children will solve this problem and get this country so that there are better days to come.” “



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