K'Andre Miller, a former Minnetonka High School standout who now plays for the New York Rangers, was the target of repeated racist messages while doing an online video chat with fans Friday.
Miller, a 20-year-old African-American who was the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, was doing the online Zoom chat when the n-word was entered into the message board hundreds of times.
“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.”
The New York Post reports that the Rangers were able to disable the chat 17 seconds after the racist comments started. The NHL also issued a statement condemning the act.
“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 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.”
Miller, who recently signed a three-year, $3.825 million deal with the Rangers, played at Minnetonka his freshman and sophomore years of high school before playing for the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 teams. He played at the University of Wisconsin prior to being drafted.
The Zoom hack comes just days after the FBI issued a warning about "Zoom-bombing," when hackers gain access to a private video conference, which have become more common during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The hacking of Miller's Zoom conference is precisely what groups like the Anti-Defamation League are concerned about, as it's become increasingly clear that extremists are using Zoom-bombing tactics to target groups with hate speech.
Recent examples include a virtual Torah lesson being interrupted by people sharing antisemitic images, while a school board meeting in California was scrapped after someone shared a Nazi flag and swastika.