New York Rangers prospect K'Andre Miller released a statement Monday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement amid protests across the United States in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last week.
Miller was racially abused in the comment section of a Zoom introductory press conference in early April following the signing of his entry-level contract. The team and NHL released statements condemning the behavior, but Miller says he stayed quiet because he didn't want to take the spotlight in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But in light of recent incidents, Miller, a Minnesota native, felt it was time to speak up.
"In the midst of the senseless death of George Floyd, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the peaceful protests and violent riots have become the focus for all of us," Miller said. "I want to express my growing concern for the safety of our citizens of color, specifically in my home state, given recent events. I support the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I struggle because I've never been fully accepted by either the black community or the white community. I struggle because for years I have been one of the only people of color on my hockey teams. I have been targeted because of my race when I was in youth hockey by some coaches, parents, and players, but I refused to give up because of my love for the game.
"You can only imagine how it felt to have an organization like the New York Rangers draft me, the hockey player. For that one moment in time I didn't have to be defined by the color of my skin but rather on my hockey skills, athletic ability, and character. This is how it should be all the time. It's time for action, time for change, and once and for all, it's time to let black people be judged based on who we are and not what we look like."
The Rangers drafted Miller 22nd overall in 2018. He's spent the past two years playing at the University of Wisconsin.