EDMONTON, AB - Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse commented on Tuesday's verdict in the murder of George Floyd during Wednesday's morning skate media availability.
"There was a sense of relief that he was found guilty on all three counts," Nurse said. "That was a good step in the right direction and there's still a ton of work to be done with regards to systematic racism, with regards to equality throughout the world. We all sat and watched during a lot of down time and saw a man get murdered in the video. To see that the jury saw it that way and the way the prosecution fought for everyone, as a person of colour, as a Black man, there was definitely a sense of relief to see that he was found guilty."
Nurse was also asked what he believes are actions that need to be taken to promote equality.
"It's a question I've tried to tackle myself and see how I can help," he said. "When you look around the world, it's about equal representation. You look at workplaces around the world. The times of being a candidate or being qualified for a role no matter where it is within business, within sports, it's come to a point where skin colour and the look of someone needs to become obsolete. It needs to get to the point where we're all treated on an equal playing field. That's one of the first steps, but it's easier said than done. Yesterday was a step in the right direction, but it can't be a sense of contentment. We need to continue to push forward."
The Oilers also released the following statement regarding the verdict:
"Yesterday's verdict in the murder of George Floyd was an important step toward systematic change, healing and meaningful community engagement. We witnessed the powerful statements made by our own Darnell Nurse, Minnesota's Matt Dumba, Vegas' Ryan Reeves along with countless others as hosts of last season's NHL Hub and we will continue to do our part in the fight against racism, injustice and bigotry. While yesterday's verdict was an important milestone, we know that actions will forever be louder than words and the path to equality should be a shared one regardless of our colour."