KKK vandalism shocks family of former Edmonton Eskimos player

Former Edmonton Eskimos player Craig Ellis discovered the letters 'KKK' spray-painted on his garage door in northwest Edmonton last week.

Craig Ellis discovered 'KKK' spray-painted on his garage door in northwest Edmonton Thursday

Former Edmonton Eskimo player Craig Ellis discovered the letters 'KKK' spray-painted on his garage door last week. (Supplied/Brittani Ellis)

Faded black paint is still visible from where someone spray-painted the letters "KKK" last week on the garage door of a former Edmonton Eskimos player's home.

Craig Ellis discovered the graffiti on his Inglewood property on Thursday night.

His daughter, Brittani Ellis, said the entire family is shocked.

​"I have no idea why someone would do this," she told CBC News on Monday.

"If it was targeted at my dad, what did my dad do? Was it because he was black in a nicer home in this community?"

Craig Ellis with his daughters Brittani (left) and Jasmyne (right). (Supplied/Brittani Ellis)

Ellis, a retired all-star CFL and NFL running back, settled in Edmonton more than two decades ago. He played for the Eskimos from 1989 to 1992.

He was travelling in the United States Monday and couldn't be reached for comment.

"He's well liked in the community ... he's so charismatic and everybody knows who he is," his daughter said.

"For him to be able to have the success that he has, it's really unfortunate to see someone disrespect it so heavily."

'This is 2017, let's get a grip' 

The neighbourhood quickly rallied around the Ellis family, volunteering to scrub away most of the grafitti on Friday.

"That just showed so much love and support," Brittani Ellis said.

"There's a part of me that's really sad that this was even possible — that people are still, in 2017, thinking that the KKK is something to look up to.

"But then at the same point, I look at all the people who came out and the people who are supporting us and bringing awareness to this. It is really powerful."

The family has contacted police but Ellis said she doesn't want to dwell on the hatred behind the vandalism.

"It's a tough world out there, we don't need to be fighting each other," she said. "This is 2017, let's get a grip."