Hockey is finally back, and we couldn’t be any more excited about that. While NHL action returns to our screens, however, Darnell Nurse wants to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the fight for change that has gained so much momentum in recent weeks.

In a lengthy essay published to his Instagram, Nurse describes his own experience with racism in hockey, as well as the invaluable support that he’s gotten from friends, teammates and family. Most of all, he wants to keep the focus on continuing to make change for the better.



We are back! No better feeling then getting to go into battle with the fellas! ....... These last few months have been filled with lots of uncomfortable conversations for many and realizations of how we need to be better for others. I have been fortunate to grow up in a family that has supported me and been there for me when having to face some of the racism in sport. There have been times my mother and father have had to stand up to remarks about their biracial son in the stands, there have been times in which I’ve had to sit in that dark lonely place in my head after being called the n-word and there have been times my teammates have stood up for me because of the words and actions of opponents. I cannot tell you how much the support of my family and teammates meant in those situations. These examples aren’t to say poor me but instead shed light on some of my personal experiences which I am sure many share with me. Experiences that have been a part of every stage of playing hockey. These are things as a human being I hope one day can become a thing of the past. I have been fortunate to play alongside some unbelievable teammates of all different races but I’m especially proud to play on a team during these times that has so many different cultures. I look at the picture above and see 3 minority players in this league enjoying the greatest game on earth. This is a picture my grandparents, immigrants from Trinidad, probably never thought they’d see. With all that said, we need to continue this discussion on equality and make hard changes for the better. I am an optimistic person, always have and always will be and I am optimistic about what we can all achieve. But let’s not turn the conversation into a sense of contentment because we still have a lot of change to go. Enjoy the playoffs it really is the best time of the year! But don’t forget about the change that we can all be a part of.

A post shared by Darnell Nurse (@drtwofive) on

This definitely qualifies as a long read, at least on Instagram, but it’s well worth your time.

Nurse also spotlights his teammates Ethan Bear and Kailer Yamamoto, who are also minority hockey players themselves. In one of the Oilers' final scrimmages, Bear wore a special Oilers jersey honouring his indigenous heritage with his name spelled in Cree syllabics.


h/t Instagram/drtwofive