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Evander Kane on criticism: ‘I think a good portion of it is because I’m black’

Feb 13, 2013, 6:43 PM EDT

Evander Kane Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane believes some of the criticism he’s received recently is racially motivated. Here are some of the comments he made to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, via editor Jason Kay:

“I think a good portion of it is because I’m black and I’m not afraid to say that,” Kane said. “I don’t feel like a victim and I don’t want to be perceived as one.”

CTV reports that the Jets are aware of his comments, but didn’t provide a response.

The 22-year-old winger drew ire in many corners of the hockey world when he posted this photo where he was pretending to make a phone call to boxer Floyd Mayweather (with a “phone” made of money):


Some criticized the timing since it surfaced during the holidays and the lockout in December, yet Kane might argue about the reasoning.

He turned heads with that photo and then shaved “YMCMB” on his head in late January:


There have been a few other controversial moments, as his time in the KHL didn’t go especially well and he had an odd clash with some Winnipeg restauranteurs in early 2012.

Kane currently has three goals and nine points in 12 games for the Jets, logging a career-high 19:05 minutes per game. He signed a six-year, $31.5 million contract with Winnipeg just before the lockout began.

We’ll see if there are any further provocative comments once the full interview is released (and also if others react).

  1. martysbetter - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Really though?

  2. ravenscaps48 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    It’s not because you are black. It’s because you act like a spoiled toolbag and you don’t give 100% on a nightly basis. That’s why!

    • tatdue - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      I’ve been defending him all along but after him spewing this crap I can’t do it any more…the guy just proved that everyone that has been criticizing him are right in the things they’ve been saying…The guy is just a douche!

  3. sdsabresfan - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    There is the road Wayne Simmonds took on 24/7 and there is this one…

    • me6661973 - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      You beat me to it . Wayne train is all class he is type ok black player hockey needs one show it on the ice not in the media. The proud to be flyers fn and a Wayne Simmons fan. I am also a proud white country sounding guy from Alabama that fel in love with hockey during John Leclaire hextall era.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        Wayne cut his teeth playing his junior hockey in the GTA while Kane is a product of the same West Coast that the Canucks call home. Just sayin’.

  4. me6661973 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    r more black hockey players out there subban hard player not one for racial slurs and I hate it when it goes either way.

  5. broadstbully33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Come to Philly we will welcome you with open arms and just laugh off your great haircuts

  6. tyler4richardson - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Yeah it’s because you are black. It’s not like hockey fans have ever criticized a white guy like Patrick Kane for being an arrogant prick in the off season. Oh wait, they have. Maybe skin color has nothing to do with it after all, and instead it is all the arrogance you have recently portrayed to the fans and media.

  7. bardown66 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Ha only lazy people use race as a crutch. It helps to perpetuate the vicious cycle, man up and play like you are paid. Iginla, and Simmons don’t mention race ever.

    • bbbruins - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Only lazy people pretend racism doesn’t exist. People who yell at other people for saying racism exists “perpetuates the vicious cycle”. If you spent two seconds you would see that other black players do mention race, because they are black and racism still exists. They differ on how they choose to confront it.

  8. dkphilly1122 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Talk about a classless self pity person. He brought everything and criticism on himself with his foolish antics, not because he is black. Because he is an idiot he brings up the race card. You don’t see Simmer after two racial incidents saying anything racist or because he is black. There are plenty of well respected black players in the league. He needs to take a page from Calgary’s Captains book on how to earn respect. Jerome is one of the most respected players in the league, not because he is white, black or red, but because he earns it all. You also got Kane’s teammate Big Buff who is black but not crying racism and Subban. They just play Hockey like this clown needs to and earn his money.

    • sabatimus - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      I agree with everything you just said…except the part about Subban.

    • bbbruins - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Wait, are you saying that Simmonds did not consider the racist incidents as racist? Cuz you would be wrong. They clearly were racist incidents. He just let it go. That was his choice. Here’s a quote from him from Puck Daddy: “When you’re a black man playing in a predominantly white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that. Over the past 23 years of my life, I’ve come to expect some things like that. But I’m older and more mature now, I kind of just let things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that.”

  9. ktboston - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Had to use the black card!! Grow up

  10. einjzmolf - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    don’t stereotype yourself, and do what you’re paid to do. play hockey and keep your mouth shut. what a childish brat, someone should take his money away, he doesn’t deserve it.

  11. mclovinhockey - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    wait… he is black


  12. sjsharks66 - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    No, it is because you are a douche bag.

  13. kaptaanamerica - Feb 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I dislike this guy more and more.this person sounds like a complete buffoon.I can’t believe this idiot is Canadian.

    • namriverrat69 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      I can. What, you think that there are no racist a$$holes in Canada? They are everywhere in the world. Read the news each day. You see it everywhere. It seems like I’ve been half of everywhere in my years and seen them to some degree where ever I’ve been.

      Very shortly after the OJ trial, my wife and I had dinner at the Forum Club of the Great Western Forum prior to watching a King’s game. In the big hallway entering the Forum, among the crowd of people “lo and behold the sky opened up” and there was Robert Shapiro, with his stylin’ leather jacket, red ball cap and 3 day beard looking cool as a cucumber. All 5’0″ of my petite wife walks up to old Bob, shakes his hand and says, “So Bob, if I kill someone will you defend me?” His face went blank as he said ‘Huh” and she smiled and walked away. We laughed all the way to our seats. You’ve got to enjoy life and take the seriousness out of things sometimes just for the sake of it. No need to insult and name call and race bait people. Life is too short. God put us here to be happy, not miserable. (If you believe in God, no harm – no foul if you don’t.) As a brilliant philosopher once said, “Can’t we all just get along?”

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:55 AM

        Every bit of that is fantastic.

  14. ethanmacleod1685 - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    I didn’t know he was black?

  15. barrywhererufrom - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    When will this bs get.criticism and its because of race…cant be because of your.actions could it
    Even the defenders of president obama use it..all walks of life is permeated with this junk..but when you see it sports it kind of annoys even more

    • stakex - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Wo wo wo…. theres no comparison between the unprecedented level of personal disrespect directed at Obama, and people saying Kane is acting like a spoiled brat.

      If people were calling Kane a foreign born Kenyan socialist muslim who hates America based on absolutely nothing…. I would fully agree with his statement. There not however, and as such Kane is just an asshole. Obama though? A lot of the attacks on him, mostly (by not entirely) from the fringe, are absolutely race motivated. If you think its not, your simply ignoring it because you don’t like the guy.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        Agree 100%. This kid is just a self-centered idiot. Any criticism he’s received has been in response to his immature actions or statements (just like this), not because of his skin color. Meanwhile being the first black president (as opposed to one of many black hockey players) makes President Obama a legitimate target of race-based criticism.

      • namriverrat69 - Feb 14, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        I believe you are posting on the wrong section. You should be in the editorial , opinion or letters to the editor section. Since you didn’t, why is it that any criticism of President Obama is considered race based? Why can’t a person just disagree with his political stance or point of view on an issue based on a difference of opinion, one human being to another, without being labeled a racist? This is wacked out. When I served we were all the same and have been ever since. I don’t understand the big lumping people together.

      • barrywhererufrom - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:53 AM

        Stakex you are proving my point..criticizing obamas policies is what I am talking about..all presidents get criticism and you jump to the the birther bs..obama gets it not because of his race but because of his failed policies. Just like Jane using race as a copout so do supporters of the president..I hope you don’t do the same thing that people are clearly disgusted with which is playing the race card..

  16. ryanw822 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Some people have “it” and he clearly does not.

    You can have talent, have a good head on your shoulders and be great. Or you can just get by on talent, make poor choices and become the hockey version of Iverson or Carmelo Anthony.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      Wha? Iverson had a great career before he pissed in a trash can publicly in AC

    • sabatimus - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      His “it” comes with an s and an h on the front.

  17. isithockeyseasonyet - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Wayne simmonds was taking all kinds of abuse for being black overseas and didn’t say a thing, grow up you little punk, there’s plenty of people who are treated poorly because of their skin color, you’re being treated poorly because you don’t show up

    • bbbruins - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      It is not every black person’s responsibility to be quiet when taking abuse. That was Simmonds’ choice. That’s not how you “grow up”. Kane lacks the selfless hockey mentality, sure. But all the people here telling him to “shut up” and “zip it” makes me feel that maybe his comment wasn’t baseless.

    • namriverrat69 - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      The reason the Kings traded him was because he didn’t always show up. It was thought that he was smoking left handed cigarettes and leading Doughty down the wrong road. They were room mates on the road and at home. Some games in LA he didn’t show up either. The within the organization the feeling was similar to Phillies fans feeling about Richards. I’ve read so much that Richards was a big pot head. With that in mind, I think it was a fair trade, except for the fact Richards is twice the player Simmonds is . . . and he is pretty good.

      Could be great if he got his head together,.

  18. ducksk - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Stupid is what stupid does.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:00 AM


  19. tdrusher225 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    When this kid knocked out Matt Cooke I thought he was the man….. yeah nevermind. He’s such tool! It’s one thing to have a different personality or attitude, not everyone can be classy. But, to play the race card and essentially blame the racism of everyone else for negativity surrounding him, rather than acknowledge his own problems and take responsibility is utterly pathetic. He wants to be a victim and still act like a clown, oh but it’s not his fault! Good luck Winnipeg.

  20. sabatimus - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    He doesn’t feel like a victim and doesn’t want to be perceived as one? Then SHUT UP. You’re bringing this entirely upon yourself Mr. Kane.

    • sabatimus - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      And I didn’t know he was black either. Like it matters at all to me. I think Donald Brashear is one of the biggest badasses to ever lace up skates.

  21. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Yes because Winnipeggers constantly criticize Byfuglien .. ..

    • faceoff77 - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      You are exactly right. No one here in Winnipeg ever criticizes Buff and last time I checked he was black. the Jets really need to get rid of this guy.

  22. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Kane is right, hockey is completely racist. That’s why Grant Fuhr, despite over 400 wins, 4 Stanley Cups and a Vezina Trophy never got into the Hockey Hall of Fame. What? Really? Ten years ago? Oh. Never mind.

    • bbbruins - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      He didn’t say hockey is completely racist. He also does not play in an environment that is completely non-racist.

  23. jsutan - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Of all the topics on pht I think this one has the highest thumbs up:thumbs down ratio. Kind of interesting

  24. ikillchicken - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    That’s just disgusting. Making BS excuses for why you’re criticized is irritating but ultimately harmless. However, blaming it on race just serves to trivialize what is, sadly, still a very serious and real issue in society. (Not so much in regards to hockey specifically but in a more general sense).

  25. thedavesiknowiknow - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    I really have to try that excuse at least once. My apologies to those whom I leave very, very confused.

  26. augsburg12 - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Yes yet another spoiled brat of a hockey player. Race card played its trump he wins the trick. But lost the respect and in the long run he doesn’t care. Why?? Because he’s rich and he knows it Screw you all is the word of the day

  27. dawglb - Feb 14, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    Just play hockey…..and zip it!

  28. pensfan603 - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    no evander its cause you stay stupid stuff like this.

  29. buffalomafia - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    I get sick of these black people always pulling the race card when things go bad for them! Quit acting stupid & play hockey!

    • bbbruins - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      Can you read what you wrote out loud and still feel that “these black people” are “stupid” for thinking that racism still affects things?

  30. bbbruins - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Amazing that all these commenters get so angry when anyone thinks that racism exists. Forget Evander Kane. If he’s a spoiled brat, he’s a spoiled brat. But you guys do know that racism exists, right? It’s not crazy. It’s not like blaming alien brain waves for your actions. Especially when people (like on this very comment section) use borderline racist language in yelling down Kane’s comments. So: Kane is immature and possibly wrong. But racism is still a thing. You can get angry with Kane and racism.

  31. dkuether017 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    You’ve got to be kidding me? How about you embrace the diversity and use it as motivation to be one of the best black athletes in hockey rather than use it as an excuse for why you get criticism?

  32. jasol20 - Feb 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    I think a good portion of it is because you’re an idiot.

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