- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2020

More Washington Capitals players are releasing statements speaking out against racism and police brutality in the wake of protests and the death of George Floyd, and Tom Wilson announced a donation to a mutual fund helping black communities in Wards 7 and 8.

“Black Lives Matter,” Wilson’s statement began. “There is no place for racism or hate in our world.”

Wilson said he will donate to the East of the River Mutual Aid Fund, which Black Lives Matter D.C. launched in March to raise money to fight COVID-19 in underserved communities. The winger also will donate to the Fort Dupont Cannons, a youth hockey program based in the District that’s a longtime community partner of the Capitals and the oldest minority hockey program in the country.

“I am contributing to these funds today, but I am committed to learn, to listen and to support going forward,” Wilson wrote.

John Carlson and Braden Holtby also sent messages supporting Black Lives Matter on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

“The amount of inhumane, hate based, racial crimes that have been committed in the centuries of American history is enough to make your skin crawl in discomfort and your eyes well with tears,” Holtby wrote. “Yet it’s still happening in 2020. It should never happen. Yet… it still is.”

Holtby said the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which connects Virginia to Prince George’s County, Maryland, a majority-black county, “sits there mocking every black person who has to travel across it” while reading the name of a “racist” president.

“The racism that plagues our country is unacceptable,” Carlson wrote Monday. “While as a white man I have not experienced racism and its anguish firsthand, I stand in support of those who have and acknowledge the need to deeply transform as a country. We have to do better to eliminate all forms of racism and inspire positive, permanent change.”

Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon added his voice to the mix by tweeting an illustration of a fist and the words, “black lives matter.”

Early Monday, Washington’s captain and star winger Alex Ovechkin wrote that it was “so sad to see what was happening everywhere and DC,” saying it was important to love and respect others no matter what they look like.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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