Braden Holtby has never been shy about supporting those who face discrimination.
But the Washington Capitals goalie took a different approach this time by using Twitter to speak out against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Prior to posting his statement Wednesday, Holtby hadn't put anything on Twitter in more than three years.
"A lot of the reason that I don't go on social media too often is I think it's flooded with people saying things before thinking, before truly believing in the words they said," Holtby said Friday. "I've been thinking about what to say for over a week and trying for it to resonate to the black community of what I believe the white community should take responsibility for. And I don't think this time is a time to sugarcoat anything.
"I think it's a time to look at ourselves in the mirror and really find how we can be better and how we can take responsibility for the past and learn from that to move forward."
In his statement, Holtby made an impassioned plea against "inhumane, hate-based, racial crimes that have been committed in the centuries of American history." He also vowed to do whatever he can to support those fighting against racial inequality.
"As a person who definitely falls into the white privileged category, I know I will truly never know what it's like to walk in a black man's shoes," Holtby wrote. "But I know I have arms, and ears, and a voice to walk beside and listen to every word of anguish and give my strength to every black man, woman or child until their shoes weigh the same as mine."
Holtby, the Capitals' Hockey Is For Everyone ambassador, has long been an advocate for human rights. Ardent supporters of the LGBTQ community, he and his wife, Brandi, have participated in Washington's annual Capital Pride Parade three of the past four years. He missed the event in 2018 when the Capitals were in the Stanley Cup Final.