Evander Kane on criticism: ‘I think a good portion of it is because I’m black’

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Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane believes some of the criticism he’s received recently is racially motivated. Here are some of the comments he made to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, via editor Jason Kay:

“I think a good portion of it is because I’m black and I’m not afraid to say that,” Kane said. “I don’t feel like a victim and I don’t want to be perceived as one.”

CTV reports that the Jets are aware of his comments, but didn’t provide a response.

The 22-year-old winger drew ire in many corners of the hockey world when he posted this photo where he was pretending to make a phone call to boxer Floyd Mayweather (with a “phone” made of money):

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Some criticized the timing since it surfaced during the holidays and the lockout in December, yet Kane might argue about the reasoning.

He turned heads with that photo and then shaved “YMCMB” on his head in late January:

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There have been a few other controversial moments, as his time in the KHL didn’t go especially well and he had an odd clash with some Winnipeg restauranteurs in early 2012.

Kane currently has three goals and nine points in 12 games for the Jets, logging a career-high 19:05 minutes per game. He signed a six-year, $31.5 million contract with Winnipeg just before the lockout began.

We’ll see if there are any further provocative comments once the full interview is released (and also if others react).