On Saturday evening, Winnipeg Jets captain and Minnesota native Blake Wheeler posted the following public message on his Twitter account following recent events in the United States:
“I’ve wanted to say something for a while, but it’s been really difficult knowing what to say. My hometown is burning. Businesses where I grew up are being boarded up.
America is not okay.
Growing up outside of Minneapolis, I always felt sheltered from racism.
That’s because I was. Most people I grew up with looked like me. I never had to be scared when I stopped at a traffic light or saw the police in public. My kids will never know that fear either.
I’m heartbroken that we still treat people this way. We need to stand with the black community and fundamentally change how the leadership in this country has dealt with racism.
I’m sorry it has taken this long, but I’m hopeful that we can change this NOW.
George Floyd’s life mattered.
Ahmaud Arbery’s life mattered.
So did every other life that has been lost by this senseless violence and racism.”
On Friday, Wheeler retweeted 2020 1st overall NFL draft pick Joey Burrow’s tweet: “The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.” with his own attached message.
Wheeler wrote: “I’ve been trying to find these words for days. This hits the nail on the head.”
The ninth-year Jet is no stranger from the Twittersphere, often chiming in on current issues. Most recently Wheeler weighed in on the morning of April 18th, responding to US President Donald Trump’s tweet consisting of, ‘LIBERATE MINNESOTA’, with a plain and simple ‘No.’ – a comment to which Wheeler earned over 11K likes.
The 33-year-old Jets forward who grew up in Robbinsdale, MN., lives in Winnipeg with his wife Sam and children Louie, Leni and Mase.