Indigenous NHL Player Handles ESPN Name Joke With Class And Grace, Refuses To Embrace Outrage Culture

Videos by OutKick

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud was nothing but classy after ESPN’s John Anderson joked about his name.

While recapping a dominant playoff win over the Edmonton Oilers, the ESPN personality attempted to joke about Whitecloud’s name. He’s the first indigenous NHL player of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.

“Zach Whitecloud? What kind of name is Whitecloud? Great name if you’re a brand of toilet paper. His first goal of the playoffs as well,” Anderson told ESPN viewers.

He later publicly apologized for the remark, and Whitecloud has no interest in piling on.

Zach Whitecloud handles John Anderson’s comments with total grace and class.

Instead of piling on Anderson and joining those ripping him, he made it clear he “accepted” the apology he was offered and it’s time to move forward.

“I had a conversation with John this morning at the rink here. He offered his apology, and explained his side, obviously, of what occurred last night. Obviously, I think it was an attempt at humor that came out as obviously being insensitive. He acknowledges that. He understands that it was wrong to say, and again, I wanted to make sure 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 and try to be better,” Whitecloud told the media Tuesday after the incident.

The Vegas Golden Knights player also added he’s “incredibly proud” of his indigenous heritage and where he comes from. Overall, he handled the situation with incredible class, maturity and grace.

Whitecloud gives a masterclass on handling unfortunate remarks.

This video should be bookmarked by everyone who loves crushing people over comments about other people where there’s no ill-intent.

Anderson made it pretty clear he didn’t do his background on Whitecloud, and never made the comment hoping to offend anyone.

“It’s my job to be prepared and know the backgrounds of the players and I blew it,” the ESPN personality explained in his first statement.

Zach Whitecloud shows grace and compassion after comment from John Anderson. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

Only a truly idiotic or malicious person would mock someone’s name in such a fashion on purpose. That clearly wasn’t the case, and Whitecloud knows it. He could have demanded Anderson’s firing, ranted about what he said and escalated the situation.

Instead, he chose to do what we rarely see these days: show grace, mercy, compassion and understanding.

It’s a shame more people don’t do the same.

Major props to Whitecloud for rising above the chaos and handling this situation in impressive fashion. We’d all be better off if we approached tough situations with the same attitude.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

Leave a Reply