P.K. Subban sends video message to youth hockey player who has been victim of racial taunts
'Let nobody tell you what you can and can't do, especially if it's because of the color of your skin'
A youth hockey player targeted with racial abuse got a surprise from Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban last week.
While the Predators were in Detroit to face the Red Wings last Friday, Subban took some time to record and send a video message to Ty Cornett, a black 13-year-old Detroit-area hockey player.
According to Cornett's father, who shared the video online, his son has recently had to deal with racist taunts from players and parents alike.
"This year has been tough," Matthew Cornett wrote. "My son is very aggressive and loud, so that brings out the trash talk. I have no problem with trash talking at all (part of the sport), but the racist talk needs to stop. Between the N-word being thrown at him over and over, being called monkey by players and parents, having an entire team beat their chests and act like gorillas whenever he touched the puck."
Subban, 29, heard about the youngster's battle and decided to reach out with words of advice.
"I can tell you this right now: As long as you're still breathing in this world, you've got to believe in yourself and let nobody tell you what you can and can't do, especially if it's because of the color of your skin," the former Norris-winning defenseman said.
"In this world, some things happen that we don't really understand. That's OK. We don't have to understand them. All we need to do is understand ourselves, believe in ourselves, keep trying and keep pushing forward.
"I just want to tell you that when you're playing hockey, you play because you love the game and you want to play. Let nobody take that away from you."
The younger Cornett, who wears jersey No. 76 in honor of Subban, was apparently thrilled to receive the message from his idol. According Cornett's father, he can't seem to get enough of it.
"This video meant more to my family than anything. I think my son has watched it over 500 times ... no joke."
Recording that video might have taken less than a minute out of Subban's day, but it clearly has had a major impact on its recipient.
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