In one of the more amusing stories I saw this week we saw Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara attending the protests that have been taking place across the country following the murder of George Floyd. Now Chara's presence alone was not the amusing part, rather what amused me was the fact that a man of Chara's size had attempted to go to the event incognito by sporting a mask over his face. Of course this did not work and we quickly began to see pictures of the Bruins big man surfacing on social media showing him at the event.
On a more serious note it seems as though the event was a moving one for the Bruins defenseman as on Saturday he released an official statement on the ongoing unrest in America, a statement that he felt compelled to make following his time down on the streets at the protest. Chara indicated that he had conversations with people on the streets that clearly moved him and I may be reading too much into this but the statement seemed like a particularly emotional one from Chara. The Bruins big man highlighted his own struggles in coming to America as a foreigner and as a result there is little doubt in my mind that this is something that hits close to home for Chara.
Here is his statement, released via the Bruins official social media accounts, unedited and in full:
For the last 13 days I have been sick about George Floyd's murder. I have taken time to think and listen. Time to find braveru and time to try to find the right words, though I'll admit I'm still struggling.
First thing is first and let me be clear: I stand with the black community. Black Lives Matter. There is no room in this world for racism. Period.
Sure, I've dealt with my own share of adversity as an outsider living in this country but I rcognize my challenges were not made harder, or impossible, because of the color of my skin.
I will never know what it's like to walk down a street and feel unsafe. No one should have to experience that feeling.
We have to take better care of each other and respect each other. Equality must be a priority. Anything less is unacceptable.
I learned a lot yesterday and had good, honest conversations. Not only did we take steps in a walk but we made strides in learning and educating together. But it doesn't stop there.
I will continue to stand - and walk - with you. I have your back.