Sidney Crosby: George Floyd Killing 'Cannot Be Ignored'

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Penguins captain Sidney Crosby released a statement Wednesday on George Floyd's killing, saying what happened "cannot be ignored."

"Racism that exists today in all forms is not acceptable," Crosby wrote. "While I am not able to relate to the discrimination that black and minority communities face daily, I will listen and educate myself on how I can make a difference. Together, we will find solutions through necessary dialogue and a collective effort."

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis when an officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday and was fired alongside the three officers present. He remains the only officer from the group to be arrested.

Since Floyd's killing, protests have formed across the country against racial injustice, and a number of athletes have spoken out. While many NHL players have not publicly spoken out about racism in hockey in the past—even after black players such as Akim Aliu described facing bigotry—a number of white pros have released statements condemning racism and Floyd's killing in recent days. Prior to Floyd's death, Aliu elaborated on the racism he faced in hockey in an article for The Player's Tribune, stating "right now, hockey is not for everyone."

The National Hockey League released a statement May 31 reading, "The NHL stands with all those who are working to achieve a racially just society, and against all those who perpetuate and uphold racism, hatred bigotry and violence." As of Wednesday afternoon, the New York Rangers remain the only NHL team to not release a statement or share messages from players. 

"We share the sentiments expressed by our players and Clubs in their calls for justice, and we encourage everyone to use their platforms and privilege for systemic change," the NHL wrote. "In our own sport, we will continue to do better and work diligently toward culture change throughout hockey and endeavor to be mindful of our own shortcomings in the process." 

Crosby, 32, is a 15-year NHL veteran and three-time Stanley Cup winner. His statement follows one released by the Penguins on June 1, which acknowledged the "violence" that took place in Pittsburgh on Saturday and pledged to "work together to ensure that we always treat each other with dignity, respect, and a spirit of understanding."