In a statement on social media, McDavid said he needs to learn more about the history of racism and learn what he can do to help with positive change.
— Connor McDavid (@cmcdavid97) June 3, 2020
“As a young white male and pro athlete, I recognize that we live a very privileged life,” McDavid wrote. “I believe that the time is now for all of us to get out of our comfort zones, to not sit idly on the sidelines and to be part of the solution to ensure that we end racism in our society.”
On Monday, the Oilers Entertainment Group posted a statement condemning racism and injustice.
“We cannot ignore the issues of inequality in our society, they are real and must be confronted. In this time of hurt and pain, we cannot turn away or defer to others,” said OEG.
“We must all be a voice for change, a voice for those marginalized in our communities. Let’s stand together against racism and injustice at all levels.”
Oilers head coach Dave Tippett is currently in Minnesota, about three-and-a-half hours from Minneapolis, where the 46-year-old Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died after being arrested by police on May 25.
Floyd’s arrest was captured on cellphone video, showing a white police office kneeling on his neck for several minutes while he was pinned to the ground. The video led to widespread rage across the country, spurring protests, which sometimes included looting and vandalism.
“It seems like it’s calming down a little bit now. It certainly is not something you like to see, and hopefully the conversations, not just in sports but in humanity, continue to evolve and you can move forward,” said Tippett. “It’s too bad that situations like this happen to bring it to the forefront when it should be at the forefront in all of our lives.”
Numerous athletes, teams and coaches have spoken out in the wake of Floyd’s death and the protests in the United States. One of the most notable is Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler, who is from Minnesota.
“To have a country going through this, economically, socially, everything, and we’re still treating each other like this, yeah, it’s worrisome,” Wheeler said on Tuesday.
Four police officers are now facing charges in Floyd’s death.