Following an official statement by the Vancouver Canucks and teammate Troy Stecher, Bo Horvat is adding his support to the anti-racism cause.
Using the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #DifferentTogether, the Canucks captain admitted that he’s not well-suited to discuss the subject but that he didn’t want to remain silent. Horvat acknowledged that society needs to do better and work together to find “justice, peace and love.”
— Bo Horvat (@BoHorvat) June 1, 2020
“As an athlete we are often asked to provide our opinion on things that happen on the ice, in a locker-room…it usually feels familiar to us, or at the very least like something we are qualified to speak to,” Horvat said.
“Relating to and discussing the severe pain, and frustration so many are feeling right now is something I know I am not well suited to discuss. But the opinion that it is easier to say nothing, is a part of this problem that has gone on for far too long.
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“My deepest condolences go out to the family of George Floyd and the countless other senseless victims of racism. I’m not going to pretend that I know what people of colour are going through, but what I do know is there needs to be change… that we need to do better, that we need to work together to find justice, peace and love. It should go without saying, but we all need to do our part and say it more: I stand for anti-racism and take the #DifferentTogether Pledge.”
Horvat’s statement comes just days after Vancouver native and San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane called on white athletes to not be silent on the matter. Since then, a number of usually reserved hockey players have spoken up about racism, including Logan Couture, Auston Matthews, Anze Kopitar, Blake Wheeler, and Jonathan Toews.
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A lot of people may claim these riots and acts of destruction are a terrible response. I’ll be the first to admit that as a white male that was also my first reaction. But who am I to tell someone that their pain is not real? Especially when it is at a boiling point and impossible to hold in anymore. It’s obviously coming from a place of truth. This reaction isn’t coming out of thin air. I’m not condoning or approving the looting, but are we really going to sit here and say that peaceful protesting is the only answer? There has been plenty of time for that, and if it was the answer we would’ve given it our full attention long ago. Listen to these two men debate. They are lost, they are in pain. They strived for a better future but as they get older they realize their efforts may be futile. They don’t know the answer of how to solve this problem for the next generation of black women and men. This breaks my heart. I can’t pretend for a second that I know what it feels like to walk in a black man’s shoes. However, seeing the video of George Floyd’s death and the violent reaction across the country moved me to tears. It has pushed me to think, how much pain are black people and other minorities really feeling? What have Native American people dealt with in both Canada and US? What is it really like to grow up in their world? Where am I ignorant about the privileges that I may have that others don’t? Compassion to me is at least trying to FEEL and UNDERSTAND what someone else is going through. For just a moment maybe I can try to see the world through their eyes. Covid has been rough but it has given us the opportunity to be much less preoccupied with our busy lives. We can no longer distract ourselves from the truth of what is going on. My message isn’t for black people and what they should do going forward. My message is to white people to open our eyes and our hearts. That’s the only choice we have, otherwise this will continue. Let’s choose to fight hate and fear with love and awareness. Ask not what can you do for me, but what can I do for you? Be the one to make the first move. In the end, love conquers all. #blacklivesmatter