This is pretty sad. On Friday, April 3, a Zoom call to introduce new NY Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller to fans went left after a racist hijacked the comments section, bombarding the call with the racial slur “n****r” repeatedly, hundreds of times before being disabled.
A number of fans were incensed about the amount of time it took the Rangers to release a statement.
The Rangers eventually released a statement around 7:30pm on Friday stating:
WE HELD AN ONLINE VIDEO CHAT WITH FANS AND NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT, K’ANDRE MILLER, DURING WHICH A VILE INDIVIDUAL HIJACKED THE CHAT TO POST RACIAL SLURS, WHICH WE DISABLED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE WERE INCREDIBLY APPALLED BY THIS BEHAVIOR, WHICH HAS NO PLACE ONLINE, ON THE ICE, OR ANYWHERE, AND WE ARE INVESTIGATING THE MATTER.
Miller also received support from several of his NY Rangers teammates:
The NHL also released a statement condemning the incident:
“The National Hockey League is appalled that a video call arranged today by the New York Rangers to introduce their fans to one of the League’s incoming stars, K’Andre Miller, was hacked with racist, cowardly taunts. The person who committed this despicable act is in no way an NHL fan and is not welcome in the hockey community.
“No one deserves to be subjected to such ugly treatment and it will not be tolerated in our League. We join with the Rangers in condemning this disgusting behavior.”
Other professional players and teams also added their support for Miller.
According to ESPN reports, the Zoom call was limited to 500 people and around 150 were streaming when the incident occurred.
A source told ESPN that the incident was forwarded to the FBI.
Friday’s attack on Miller was the second time a hockey event on Zoom was targeted by hate speech. The “Hockey Analytics Night in Canada” conference on March 28 was forced to go private due to anti-gay and racial slurs and sexual harassment.
This is insane but we’re so happy that Miller got such an outpouring of support. We hope that this incident doesn’t get to him and that the NHL continues to take racism seriously.
Here are a few more tweets in support of K’Andre Miller