Arizona State Sun Devils forward Dominic Garcia revealed Wednesday night that he's been the subject of racist slurs throughout his time in the hockey world.
In a statement issued through the program, the 23-year-old said an opposing player called him the N-word for the first time at age 10. Garcia also divulged that he was called the same slur while concession snacks were thrown at him as he was walking back to the dressing room at the intermission of a junior game when he was 19.
"It's numbing," Garcia wrote. "I question if I made the mistake and misheard them. When reality sets in - that I heard what I heard - a deep pain and sadness comes over you. It's a feeling that lingers no matter what unfolds the rest of the day. It occupies your mind, even though I (along with many others) continue to put on a brave face."
The Sun Devils alternate captain said that at age 17, he stayed behind on the team bus after a game while everyone else left to go eat because the area they were in was "known to be racially confrontational."
Garcia added that he's experienced racism outside of hockey as well and that he "should be seen as an equal to all."
The Las Vegas-born winger also shared a photo of himself playing against K'Andre Miller, the New York Rangers prospect and then-University of Wisconsin defenseman who was targeted by a racist hacker during a video call with the NHL club in April.
"To you all, it may look like two players on opposing teams battling for the puck," Garcia wrote. "To me, I see a great person and hockey player in K'Andre. But I also see two black men in a predominantly white sport, who overcame adversity from not only a performance-based standpoint, but racial adversity as well. Two men who play at some of the highest levels of hockey but still continue to fight for equality."
Garcia played his junior season with Arizona State in 2019-20.