Black NHL Player Called A ‘N****r’ Repeatedly During Team-Sponsored Zoom Video Chat
The racial slur was repeatedly posted during a team-sponsored online video chat session for K’Andre Miller, a top prospect for the New York Rangers.
April 08, 2020 at 7:52 pm
Racist "Zoom-bombing" has become a problem for Black people now that physical meetings have been replaced with video conferencing on platforms like Zoom.
Professors, students and others have had video sessions repeatedly interrupted by people yelling "n****r" and other racist slurs in chat rooms with Black people, as Blavity previously reported.
On Friday, the problem hit the National Hockey League as the New York Rangers introduced their new top prospect, K’Andre Miller.
Miller, a 20-year-old University of Wisconsin student, was chosen by the Rangers in the 2018 draft, and the team signed him to a contract last month, The New York Times reports. However, during a team-sponsored online video chat to introduce him, dozens of users wrote "n****r" in the chatbox, derailing the event intended to celebrate his signing.
The Rangers, the NHL and other players have since released statements online condemning the language and slamming the hackers who decided to ruin the event.
Statement from the National Hockey League: pic.twitter.com/ykOTlDas6u— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 3, 2020
What happened today was inexcusable and cowardly. Racism has no place in the hockey community or the world. @kandre_miller we are excited to have you as a part of the @NYRangers and I look forward to having you as a teammate.— Jacob Trouba (@JacobTrouba) April 4, 2020
"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," the Rangers said in a statement.
K’Andre Miller has the support of myself and the entire Wisconsin hockey family. He has a bright future in the game of hockey. No one should be subjected to the inexcusable, racist behavior experienced today by K’Andre. pic.twitter.com/c2pk0FSupL— Coach Tony Granato (@TonyGranato) April 4, 2020
Ryan Hardy, general manager of the Chicago Steel, echoed many of the other comments, writing in a tweet that he has known Miller since he was 14.
I’ve known K’Andre Miller since he was 14 years old. Beneath a tough guy exterior, he’s a sweet kid with a big heart & a dream of making his mother proud. He carries pain inside him that I can never comprehend. Today’s events won’t break him. I wish I could give him a hug. ❤️🏒— Ryan Hardy (@ryanphardy) April 4, 2020
"Beneath a tough guy exterior, he’s a sweet kid with a big heart & a dream of making his mother proud. He carries pain inside him that I can never comprehend. Today’s events won’t break him. I wish I could give him a hug," Hardy wrote.
The unidentified person typed "n****r"in all caps during the Rangers’ Future Fridays video conference before the team hurriedly closed the chat.
The trend of Zoom-bombing has gotten so bad that the FBI released a notice to give guidance on how people can protect themselves after receiving dozens of complaints.
We support K’Andre Miller, an incredible leader, teammate, friend & person.— USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 4, 2020
Racial & derogatory slurs have absolutely no place in the game or society.
"As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language," the FBI said in a statement.
People on social media have spoken about having college lectures, presentations and chats disrupted by racist language, as Blavity previously reported.
Zoom released a video showing how people can stop their chats from being hijacked, but that has done little to stop the racism. The University of Texas at Austin’s Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males tweeted about an incident that happened on March 30.
I didnt get to record the beginning but it opened with a guy acting like he was going to ask a question and then he just started calling the professor a n***er repeatedly and it was just painful to witness.— NOT FOR THE SOCIALS🤝 (@j_donatella) March 31, 2020
The Heman Sweat Center for Black Males sends our deepest apologies to those who participated in our first Zoom meeting earlier this afternoon. We are still a space for black men to organize and uplift one another. We denounce the actions of the hackers in our call and are...(1/2)— Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males (@SweattCenter) March 30, 2020
working to better our newly found space on Zoom. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to DM us. We will be sending links for virtual meetings through emails and GroupMe from now on. Thank you for your cooperation. (2/2)— Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males (@SweattCenter) March 31, 2020
Dr. Ryan Sutton, the director of the center, spoke to local news outlet KXAN about what happened, saying he and the group "denounce the actions of the hackers in our call and are working to better our newly found space on Zoom.”
“Yeah we’re in 2020 but we still have a lot of racial, gender, sexist acts that are going on nationwide unfortunately. My main concern is with the students and that they are taken care of and supported through this, that they can keep their focus and continue with what they’re set out to do, and that at the university level that we can continue to work to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Sutton said.