Sidney Crosby says George Floyd death 'cannot be ignored'

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has added his voice to the chorus of athletes condemning racial injustice. "Racism that exists today in all forms is not acceptable," the NHL star said in a statement through his charitable foundation.

NHL star vows to listen on how he can help make difference against racial injustice

Through his charitable foundation, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby says "racism that exists today in all forms in not acceptable" and added the death of George Floyd last week “cannot be ignored.” (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images/File)

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has added his voice to the chorus of athletes condemning racial injustice.

Crosby released a statement through his charitable foundation's Twitter page Wednesday, calling the death of George Floyd something that "cannot be ignored."

Floyd was killed last week when a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the 46-year-old black man's neck for nearly nine minutes.

His death set off mass protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the United States.

"Racism that exists today in all forms is not acceptable," Crosby said in the statement. "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 help make a difference."

Crosby's statement comes days after San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane called on top stars like the Penguins centre, and other big-name white athletes, to speak out. 

"It's time for guys like Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby, and those type of figures, to speak up about what is right and what is, clearly in this case, unbelievably wrong," he told ESPN last week. "That's the only way we're going to actually create this unified anger to create that necessary change, especially when you talk about systematic racism."

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby shared his feelings through Twitter, promising to support "every black man, woman, or child until their shoes weigh the same as mine."

"You are bringing pride to every person who believes in the universal value of a human being. Keep fighting, and I promise to demonstrate and educate for what you are fighting for," he wrote. "Not just for me but for my children, my family and anyone else. listen. Because America will never be great until all BLACK lives matter. "

Former NHL goaltender Ben Scrivens, who has pursued a masters in social work following his hockey career, questioned why NHL players didn't speak up about racial injustice last November, when Bill Peters stepped down as head coach of the Calgary Flames following allegations of using racial slurs against Akim Aliu when the two were in the AHL.

"It would be more meaningful, in my eyes, to see these messages come out during the Bill Peters' firing saga, or after K'Andre Millers Zoom call, or after Akim Aliu's Players Tribune article," Scrivens wrote in a tweet. "My natural cynicism wonders how much of this is expediency, and how much follow through we will see from white players who have publicly stated their intentions."

WATCH | David Amber discusses racism in Canada:

Hockey Night in Canada host David Amber praises Evander Kane for calling on his NHL peers and asking for help, says league needs to do more but is headed in the right direction. 4:11

With files from CBC Sports

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