Evander Kane knows there's no truth to the idea that systemic racism doesn't exist north of the border.
"I'd walk up to any minority, if you're a Canadian citizen, and just ask them that same question you asked me," the San Jose Sharks forward told Sportsnet's "After Hours" in response to co-host Louie DeBrusk's question about those who say systemic racism isn't an issue in Canada. "You'd probably get the same answer. That's completely incorrect and inaccurate."
Kane grew up in Vancouver, and while the black community there isn't large, he pointed to the city's diversity as a whole and mentioned he's heard many stories from friends there who are minorities who've been victims of racism "on a regular basis."
"Just like myself growing up, wanting to play hockey as a minority, you get racist comments made to you all the time, and it was no different for them, and I think Canada kind of needs to take the rose-colored glasses off a little bit and realize it is a problem in our country as well," he said.
Kane noted that his father, Perry, has told him about racism the elder Kane endured both when he played hockey as a youth and as recently as last year, when he was pulled over and racially profiled by police.
The 28-year-old Kane then revealed that he can relate first-hand to that experience.
"It's actually happened to me," he said. "And I'm an NHL player who's from Canada. ... So, the whole notion that there's no systemic racism in Canada is just a crock of junk."
Kane is a co-head of the new Hockey Diversity Alliance, a group of current and former minority NHLers aiming to eradicate racism in hockey and society. He's been a leading voice in the anti-racism movement since George Floyd's death in late May. Kane called upon white athletes to speak up in the aftermath of that incident, and many players of varying backgrounds subsequently did so.