Evander Kane is a rarity in the NHL as a Black hockey player. Kane's father is Black and his mother is white, but he learned quickly from a young age how the world views him.
"My dad, I remember him sitting me down and he just simplified it for me," Kane told NBC Sports Bay Area. "He said, 'If somebody sees you walking across the street, are they gonna say A. That guy's Black, or B. That guy's white? They're gonna say, Look, that guy's Black.' "
Kane's father, Perry, was an amateur boxer and hockey player. He heard numerous racial slurs wherever he went, especially on the ice in places like Nova Scotia.
Evander knows the impact and lessons he learned from his father have paved the way for him both on and off the ice.
"Some of the stuff that he had to go through in the late '70s, early '80s as a Black hockey player, which almost is as rare as it is today, unfortunately ... the treatment he received, the lack of opportunity, I was lucky to have him in order to use his knowledge to help me fight through a lot of the adversity that I went through as a kid," Kane said.
The 29-year-old Sharks winger is the co-head of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. It's a heavy responsibility to carry, but Kane knows his impact in the NHL is more than just your average player.
"I'm one of the people the hockey world looks to, and I don't take that lightly," Kane said. "It's definitely meaningful. At the same time, it can be daunting. These issues weren't created by us. It's gonna take everybody to be a part of that solution and fix these issues."
To see more from Kane, watch the complete video above as part of our Black History Month series.