A video chat between New York Rangers prospect K'Andre Miller and 500 participants on Friday was hijacked by racial slurs directed toward the African American player.
With fans streaming the chat on the video conferencing platform known as Zoom, the comments section was overrun with use of the N-word being published repeatedly under different user names.
"We held an online video chat with fans and New York Rangers prospect, K'Andre Miller, during which a vile individual hijacked the chat to post racial slurs, which we disabled as soon as possible," the Rangers said in a statement. "We were incredibly appalled by this behavior, which has no place online, on the ice, or anywhere, and we are investigating the matter."
Miller, 20, was selected by the Rangers with the 22nd overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft. The former University of Wisconsin defenseman, who signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Rangers on March 14, was being formally introduced to the Rangers fans on Friday.
"The National Hockey League is appalled that a video call arranged today by the New York Rangers to introduce their fans to one of the League's incoming stars, K'Andre Miller, was hacked with racist, cowardly taunts," the league said in a statement. "The person who committed this despicable act is in no way an NHL fan and is not welcome in the hockey community.
"No one deserves to be subjected to such ugly treatment and it will not be tolerated in our League. We join with the Rangers in condemning this disgusting behavior."
Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba took to social media to condemn the hacking as well.
"What happened today was inexcusable and cowardly," Trouba wrote on Twitter. "Racism has no place in the hockey community or the world. @kandre_miller we are excited to have you as a part of the @NYRangers and I look forward to having you as a teammate"
Miller recorded 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) and 24 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Badgers this past season. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Miller had 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) in 62 career games with Wisconsin.
Miller has also been part of U.S. national junior teams at the U17, U18 and U20 levels.
--Field Level Media