Ethan Bear is taking a stand, and not only for himself.

The Edmonton Oilers defenceman was the victim of racism online following his team’s quick exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

His girlfriend, Lenasia Ned, shared a message on Instagram on Tuesday, condemning the numerous racist messages and comments he received. Bear, who is proud to be from the Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan, is calling for change.

“I’ve been subject to racist behaviour on social media,” Bear said in a video posted to social media by the Edmonton Oilers, alongside his girlfriend. “I know this doesn’t represent all Oilers fans or hockey fans, and I greatly appreciate your support and your love during this time.

“I’m here to stand up to this behaviour, to these comments. I’m proud of where I come from. I’m proud to be from Ochapowace First Nation.

“I’m not just doing this for myself, I’m doing this for all people of colour, I’m doing this for the next generation to help make change, to love one another, to support one another, to be kind to each other. There’s no place for racism in our communities, in sports, or in our workplace.

“So I call on all of us to help make change. And to end racism. We all deserve to be treated fairly, and the end of the day, I think we’ll get there.”

A groundswell of support has been generated for Bear on social media in the last two days, with hockey fans and media showing support.

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