In times like these, it's important that those who have platforms that can reach millions of people use them to inspire change. Unfortunately, the NHL's brightest star hasn't yet seized this opportunity, despite being encouraged by fellow players in the wake of protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Now, Sidney Crosby has been placed into an even more fraught position following an incredibly tone-deaf article written by John Steigerwald of TribLive, "Western Pennsylvania's trusted news source."
The article, entitled "Sidney Crosby isn’t being selfish by staying silent," goes onto provide all sorts of reasons for why Sid the Kid doesn't need to speak up amid widespread unrest that has become international. The problem? There are suddenly no more excuses for Crosby to speak out, particularly in light of this thoughtless article, and he's yet to issue any statement as of this writing.
Crosby has even more of an obligation to speak out after Steigerwald's facepalm-worthy attempt to let him off the hook. He needs to show the NHL community that he is not afraid to stand up for what we all know is right, and that he feels a sense of solidarity. Crosby is hockey's biggest star, which gives him a certain level of responsibility (whether he wants it or not).
Hockey is the least racially diverse major sport in America, and that generally applies to the fans as well. If Crosby were to speak out, he would reach a group of mostly white people that often has the privilege of tuning out conversations about racial justice and police brutality. He would reach of people that could use their privilege for a positive purpose in order to create a safer world for African-Americans and other communities of people disproportionately targeted by police violence.
Although Crosby is Canadian, the issue at hand has no borders. Crosby has lived in America for 15 years now, and has been here to see black Americans continuously killed by police. There is never a wrong time to speak out; these are the types of people that can truly make a difference. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, "The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." It's Crosby's time to take his stand.