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ESPN Anchor Apologizes to Whitecloud; D-Man’s Classy Acceptance



Zach Whitecloud, Vegas Golden Knights, John Anderson insult ESPN

Following the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1 smackdown of the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 Monday, ESPN anchor Jon Anderson veered off script during Sportscenter to make a joke about Golden Knights d-man Zach Whitecloud’s name.

The joke ran was seen by many as running afoul of Whitecloud’s indigenous heritage, as Anderson said it was a good name for toilet paper.


Before Whitecloud began his post-practice media scrum, he made a point to inform the assembled media that he spoke with Anderson Tuesday morning, and the anchor apologized.

And that Whitecloud accepted the apology.

“I want to start by saying I had a conversation with John this morning at the rink (in Edmonton). He explained his side of what occurred,” Whitecloud said. “I think it was an attempt at humor that came out as being insensitive. He acknowledges that. He understands that it was wrong to say. I want to make sure that he knew I accepted his apology. People make mistakes, and this is a scenario where not just John but everyone can learn from and move forward in a positive direction.”

Whitecloud was born in Manitoba and grew up in the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. He is of First Nations descent.

The Vegas Golden Knights defenseman had 12 points in 59 games this season and is a fixture on the third pairing with Nicolas Hague.

“I’m proud of my culture. I’m proud of where I come from, where I was raised, who I was raised by. I carry my Grandfather’s last name, and nothing makes me more proud than to be able to do that,” said Whitecloud. “In our culture, we’re raised to be the first ones to reach out and offer our help. So, that’s why I reached out to John this morning and wanted him to know I understood that people make mistakes.”

Whitecloud said Anderson is moving forward in the right direction, and he hoped everyone could learn from it.

The biggest takeaway Whitecloud wanted everyone to know was his pride in his culture.

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