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    People Are Showing Support To Cree Edmonton Oilers Player Ethan Bear After He Received Racist Messages

    "I'm proud of where I come from."

    Earlier this week, for the first time in franchise history the Winnipeg Jets ousted the Edmonton Oilers from the NHL Playoffs in a 4-game-sweep.

    An image of the Winnipeg Jets celebrating their victory.
    Darcy Finley / NHLI via Getty Images

    In the third overtime period. The game lasted past 12:00 a.m. (MDT)/1:00 a.m. (CDT) for Edmonton and for the Winnipeg fans, respectively.

    But one 23-year-old player on the Edmonton Oilers has been singled out on social media.

    Ethan Bear, from Ochapowace Nation in southern Saskatchewan, is a fifth round draft pick by the Oilers in 2015.

    He is also the first person in NHL history to have Cree syllabics (symbols translating to syllables) on their jersey.

    NHL / Via Giphy

    In many now-deleted and privatized posts, defenseman Ethan Bear allegedly received multiple racist and hateful messages.

    Not surprised at some people's reaction to Ethan Bear being First Nations. As a First Nations person I grew up with this, it's never ok. I even dealt with it after the Oilers lost. Stop racism. #IStandWithEthanBear

    It has reached the point where the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations issued a press release in support of Bear.

    #PressRelease The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations Chiefs are appalled with the outpour of racist and discriminatory comments made towards Ethan Bear of the @EdmontonOilers #EthanBear #StopRacism #treaty6

    As did the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

    #EthanBearAppreciationTweet #EthanBear #EdmontonOilers

    Some social media users have also come forward with their personal stories of dealing with racism in hockey.

    Facebook: kevin.settee

    Ethan Bear’s girlfriend made a touching statement on Facebook which has now gone viral.

    Facebook: lenasia.ned

    And Edmonton mayoral candidate Amarjeet Sohi called Ethan a "role model."

    Hockey is a sport that can unite our community. Ethan Bear is a role model and an inspiration for many Edmontonians. Racism has no place in sports, or in our city. https://t.co/Vu8zWxmte3

    Twitter: @AmarjeetSohiYEG

    Fortunately, the hateful comments have been outweighed by the support.

    Come on you so called Oilers fans be better!! 😡😡 #EthanBearAppreciationTweet #EthanBear

    Twitter: @Leon_Cooper

    Reading all these hateful racist remarks about @EdmontonOilers defensemen #EthanBear makes me tear up.. I myself who have be subject to racial comments growing up playing hockey think the time for equality is now! Stand up make your voice heard!! #EthanBearAppreciationTweet

    Twitter: @L_Anderson08

    Including support from Bear's fellow teammate, Connor McDavid.

    facebook.com

    He even got a special video from Chief of Peguis First Nation, MB.

    Facebook: annette.spence.142 / Via Facebook: annette.spence.142

    And fellow First Nations NHL legend, Reggie Leach, had this to say:

    Facebook: 7rifleman1627

    "I met Ethan Bear in 2017…he is a fine young man who has made us proud for how hard he has worked and for being a role model as an NHL pro hockey player. We should all be very proud of him. No one should be subjected to the unfair criticism he has received. I am a big fan of his and I am very proud of Ethan Bear."

    The Edmonton Oilers have taken this seriously and Ethan has now issued a statement.

    "I'm here to stand up to this behaviour... 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 & for the next generation." Ethan Bear's statement in response to racist comments.

    Bear will continue to be a role model for many youth and go down in history as a proud Cree NHL hockey player.

    Andy Devlin / NHLI via Getty Images

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