New York Islanders rookie Josh Ho-Sang has never been one to hide his emotions. The outspoken 21-year-old has managed to rustle the feathers of many in the staunchly conservative hockey world ever since his minor hockey days. "I'm more emotional than most people. That poses a problem for the hockey world. A lot of players are trained to hold their emotions…,” says Ho-Sang in response to the chatter that surrounds him.
The 28th overall selection of the Islanders in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft also has no problem speaking his mind. Ho-Sang is biracial - his father is a former Jamaican tennis star, while his mother is a native Chilean - and growing up in Toronto he heard plenty of hurtful, racist remarks. Now, with the NFL making headlines this past week with players protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling or abstaining from the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, Ho-Sang is offering up his opinion on the matter.
“I think what the NFL players are doing is amazing. It’s good that they’re all sticking together,” said Ho-Sang after a preseason game against the New Jersey Devils.
While Ho-Sang stopped short of saying he’d join the protest, he offered up his support to his fellow athletes. “I mean, I’m Canadian, so I don’t have too much input on the matter itself. It will affect me living in the States, but the biggest thing is it’s unfortunate that the message may have gotten lost a little. Now it’s becoming a battle between the NFL and the president and originally [the protests] started because of police brutality and the mistreatment of different races.”
As for all the “stick to sports” rhetoric that Ho-Sang hears from the fans and media… he’s not having any of it. “It’s good that athletes are using their voices, something I’ve said multiple times,” says Ho-Sang. “As long as they’re going in a positive direction that’s all that matters. There’s no violence now in terms of the players, so that’s good as well.”