ESPN commentator pens apology statement after comments that had Vegas’ Zach Whitecloud in tears

Defenseman Zach Whitecloud only scored five goals and twelve points during the regular season. But in the playoffs, he’s been more busy, and so far, he’s scored one goal and three points in eight games.

Whitecloud scored a goal in Vegas’ win in Game 3 over the Edmonton Oilers. Still, when ESPN broadcaster John Anderson called the highlights, he talked about something other than Whitecloud’s hockey abilities.

As the replays of the Golden Knights defenseman’s goals were shown, he instead made a questionable joke about Whitecloud’s name.

”That’s a great name if you’re a toilet paper,” Anderson said.

Zach Whitecloud is a member of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Manitoba, and many of his friends and family share similar names. Whitecloud is the first Indigenous NHL player from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, and the pride he feels for that is something he’s talked about many times in the past.

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When reporters asked Whitecloud about the incident, he teared up and discussed why he felt it was so wrong of Anderson.

According to Whitecloud, he had a conversation with Anderson, and he later apologized for his words.

“I don’t want to be standing here in front of all of you, but I hope we can use it an opportunity for everyone to learn,” he said.

Whitecloud was clear about that he accepted Anderson’s apology and again spoke on how proud he is of his heritage and culture.

On Tuesday, John Anderson also released a statement about his comment, where he once again apologized.

”This is totally on me and I sincerely apologize to Zach, the Golden Knights, their fans and everyone else for what I said. It’s my job to be prepared and know the backgrounds of the players and I blew it. I will be reaching out to the team to personally apologize and hope to have the opportunity to speak to Zach as well,” he said.

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