The Winnipeg Jets’ captain and Minneapolis-area native cited killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd as examples of racial injustice.
On May 30, 2019, the Blues beat the Bruins in overtime in game 2 to tie the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals at 1-1. That feels like a long time ago.
On May 30, 2020, shit really hit the fan as protests escalated nationwide. The protests began on May 26 in response to the recorded killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin.
Floyd was the third high-profile killing of a black American since Ahmaud Arbery was killed by white vigilantes while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia on Feb. 23. (The other victim was Breonna Taylor in Louisville, who was killed by police in her home on March 13.)
Protestors and law enforcement officers alike, have spoken out against the killing of Floyd. Flint County Sheriff Chris Swanson spoke out against the Minneapolis PD officers’ killing of Floyd and marched with protestors.
However, in many American communities, shit went sideways.
In Minneapolis, the National Guard fired paint canisters at people on their porch. In Louisville, Louisville Metro PD officers fired pepper balls at a WAVE 3 News television reporter and her crew on air. In New York City, NYPD SUVs plowed through a group of protestors standing on the other side of a barricade.
Looters ran into broken-into stores in lower Manhattan and ran off with merchandise “on the sidelines of massive protests” against Floyd’s death. Some protestors were preventing looting at a Target in NYC.
The hockey community is beginning to chime in on the protests and killings that incited the protests.
Plymouth, Minnesota native and Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler had this to say about the events:
Blake Wheeler wants change NOW.
Thank you Blake Wheeler for using your status to call out racial injustice, acknowledging the black community’s suffering, and advocate for positive change.