Kevin Weekes: NHL needs to 'be real' to combat racial inequality
Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Former NHL goaltender Kevin Weekes believes the league can make progress with the multitude of racial issues it faces.

"I want to see people be real - you're real about other things - be real," Weekes said on the "ESPN on Ice with Wyshynski and Kaplan" podcast. "'Hey, you know what? This is a problem,' 'Hey, you know what? We do have qualified women, we do have qualified transgender people, we do have qualified people of color.'"

"... Let's just put the best people in the position," he continued.

"If you have knuckleheads, get them outta there," he added. "Root them out. You're gone. It's a three-year ban, it's a lifetime ban as a managerial person or coach. You're out. Bye. ... If you're a fan (who's racist)? Bye."

Weekes, who spent 11 seasons in the NHL, pointed to some personal experiences to highlight racial issues in hockey.

"If you're at your place of work, and I've had this numerous times, and ironically Philly being one of them - and I love Philly - but I've had this a lot of times. Why are you cheering for Allen Iverson? You're booing Donovan McNabb, but you're still cheering for him. But you're cheering for Allen Iverson, but now you're yelling racial epitaphs at me behind the bench?" Weekes said. "And then you're gonna come after Wayne Simmonds comes and you're gonna cheer for Wayne Simmonds?"

"As a black goalie specifically - and a lot of times, people in Canada will say, 'Oh, well that's an American problem' - they couldn't be any further from the truth," he said.

The now 45-year-old also said he would often be racially profiled on his way to the rink in Canada. He estimates it happened a "minimum 20 times."

"I'd have my goalie pads, and my two sticks, and my goalie bag, and next thing you know, cops pull me over. 'Hey, is this your vehicle? Can we see the license and registration?'" he said.

Weekes became the first black NHL analyst after retiring from the league in 2009. He currently works for the NHL Network.

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Kevin Weekes: NHL needs to 'be real' to combat racial inequality
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