Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane says in a soon-to-be published interview that part of the criticism he receives is racially motivated.
In a story set to be released in the Mar. 4 issue of The Hockey News, the 21-year-old said, "I think a good portion of (criticism) is because I'm black and I'm not afraid to say that."
Kane was criticized most famously for a Twitter photo of him in Las Vegas holding stacks of money to his ear like a telephone.
That hasn't been the only thing the former fourth-overall pick has been criticized for in hockey-mad Winnipeg however.
"It's just the way I'm wired," Kane told Ken Campbell of The Hockey News. "Maybe my parents loved me the proper way, so I love myself."
Campbell joined TSN Radio1290 Winnipeg's Hustler and Lawless show Wednesday about the article and his encounter with Kane and he said that social media was one of the platforms where Kane received the most criticism.
"He did single out Twitter and social media as a place where he's seen a lot of really racist things said about him," Campbell said. "Things that people would say behind the anonymity of a keyboard that they would never say in public."
In a market like Winnipeg where Kane's off-ice actions will draw more attention than they did in Atlanta, fans have at times used Twitter as a way to voice their criticisms directly to Kane himself.
But Campbell warned that criticism has its limits.
"People like to hate and I guess that's their right, I suppose," he said.
"It's not their right to be racist and obscene about it, but I think Evander realizes that it's part of what comes with the territory and you kind of have to deal with it and move on."
Kane acknowledged in The Hockey News article that not all of the criticism has racial tones.
"I don't feel like a victim and I don't want to be perceived as one," he said.
When contacted by CTV in Winnipeg, a Jets spokesperson only said that they are aware of the comments Kane made to The Hockey News.
Kane broke out last season with 30 goals for the Jets in his third NHL campaign. This year he has three goals and six assists in 12 games.