Patrice Bergeron releases powerful statement, donates to NAACP: 'Silence is not an option for me anymore'

Scott McLaughlin
June 03, 2020 - 2:47 pm

There have been so many statements about racism and injustice from across the sports world the last few days that it might be easy for them to all start to blend together.

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Some still stand out and are still worth highlighting, though, and one of those is the one Bruins center Patrice Bergeron put out through the team Wednesday afternoon.

Bergeron has generally kept a pretty low profile during his 17 years in Boston and has rarely discussed much of anything outside of hockey, so any sort of statement at all from him during such a tumultuous time for the country would be newsworthy.

What Bergeron actually says and commits to in the statement is what really stands out, though. Bergeron acknowledges that it is in his and many hockey players' nature to stay quiet and not make noise, but says that the murder of George Floyd and the protests that have followed have made him realize that not speaking up allows "racism to fester and continue."

"Silence is not an option for me anymore," Bergeron says.

Bergeron goes on to say that he is "disappointed in myself that it took this long for me to truly open my eyes" and vows to "listen, educate myself and stand up for the black community" going forward.

Finally, Bergeron commits to donate $25,000 to both the Boston chapter of the NAACP and the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec. The Bruins' post with Bergeron's statement includes links to donate to the NAACP here and to the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec here.

Read Bergeron's full statement here:

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 the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec.

I will not be quiet anymore.

With love, respect, and the most sincere humility.

Patrice Bergeron

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Related: Bruins release statement: 'We want to be part of change'