Patrice Bergeron is making a difference both with his words and his actions.

On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins star offered his first public statement since the death of former Minneapolis native George Floyd, who was killed May 25 by white police officer Derek Chauvin. In the statement, Bergeron acknowledged some of his own personal ignorance on issues facing people of color while also promising to educate himself, support African Americans and be more vocal on important issues moving forward.

Bergeron also pledged to donate $25,000 both to the Boston branch of the NAACP and to the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec, an organization which helps facilitate the settling of immigrants in the Quebec province.

Here’s Bergeron’s statement.

“As many of you know, I don’t have social media. Right or wrong I’ve often tried to stay away from making my opinions public. As hockey players, we have a tendency to do our business while staying quiet, without wanting to make too much noise. It is in our culture. But surrounding the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, it made me realize that by not speaking up on the matter, and not using my voice as a professional athlete, it’s in fact allowing racism to fester and continue. Silence is not an option for me anymore.

“I realize that I will never truly understand the fear, pain and suffering the Black community has endured. As a white man I have always tried to live by respect and equality, but I also acknowledge my privileges. I am disappointed in myself that it took this long for me to truly open my eyes. Seeing all this pain truly breaks my heart and forces me to seek answers.

“Today and going forward I want to listen, educate myself and stand up for the Black community. We cannot change the past, but we certainly can change the future. It is time to truly acknowledge this cry for help. It needs to be more than a simple Instagram post. Let’s take real actions. With an open heart and compassion, I am determined to be an ally, continue to grow myself, and raise my children to be anti-racist.

“In addition to my words, my family and I are donating $25,000 to the Boston branch of the NAACP and $25,000 to Centre Multiethnique de Quebec.

“I will not be quiet anymore.

“With love, respect and the most sincere humility, Patrice Bergeron”

Well said, Patrice.

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