Colorado College assistant coach Leon Hayward shared a powerful message Sunday after George Floyd died last week in police custody in Minneapolis.
Hayward, who has been at Colorado College for three seasons, wrote his message on Twitter.
"I'm devastated," Hayward said. "I'm devastated for George Floyd and his family. I'm devastated he wasn't allowed to breathe. I'm devastated OUR America is still divided and so angry in 2020. Honestly and selfishly I'm most devastated that I have to explain to my boys that some people don't like their dad because of the color of his skin. They simply cannot understand, they cannot understand why anyone would want to intentionally hurt or murder someone else because of their skin color. It is tougher than I could ever imagine having these conversations with my boys.
"I'm devastated for the law enforcement officers that do their difficult job well. I'm lucky to be in Minneapolis regularly recruiting and I'm devastated for all my friends in Minnesota. I despise the looting, the fighting, all the media on every side that ignites much of the mess these days. I'm devastated we don't have a leader.
"I'm devastated that the sport I love still has so much work to do and that up-and-coming boys and girls of color don't always feel that Hockey is for Everyone. I love hockey, I love my players, and I love everyone who is helping to make our game better. It is a delicate balance as a minority coach in a majority sport, but I love my hockey family, but sadly we are well past 'can't we all get along.'
"We need real change, real systematic change in America. We all have the power to help make this change and we won't have change until we all step up together. Sending love to everyone who is hurting and helping. #ICantBreathe #BeAntiRacist"
According to NHL.com, Hayward is one of only three black coaches in college hockey. The other two are Paul Jerrard at Omaha and Kelsey Koelzer at Arcadia.
Hayward played college hockey at Northeastern from 1998-02. He played professionally in the American Hockey League and ECHL for six seasons before joining the coaching world.
The death of George Floyd has sparked demonstrations and calls for an antiracist society worldwide.