Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller made waves earlier this offseason when he attended the Families Belong Together rally in opposition to American President Donald Trump’s border policy of separating children from their parents when apprehended at the Mexican/American border. Now, Miller is going on record with his feelings on the political climate in America and he hopes that more NHLers will do the same.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, Miller laid out his thoughts on Trump, his policies and the political discourse inside NHL locker rooms.
Check out some of these quotes:
“No matter what you think about the border policy and no matter how you believe the children ended [up] there … or if you feel that [parents] know that they’re going to have maybe a better chance of getting into the country if they bring their children, even if you feel that way, you have to agree that we hope in this country to handle things in the best way possible,” Miller said. “Separating families and then making one-, two- and three-year-olds appear by themselves in court is … I don’t know how to describe that other than inhumane. And I’m sure people will disagree with me, but when you see a kid who is one-, two- or three-years-old in front of an English-speaking judge by themselves with no one representing them because our country doesn’t want to assign the money to assign them a lawyer, it’s kind of like, ‘Where are we right now?’
“That said, I think we have to do better in a lot of areas. So my reason for going [to the rally] was to say, ‘We shouldn’t be treating people like this no matter how they arrived here. We have to try to be better’ and I think that some things you have to just kind of do that.”
On becoming more active in the political world and using his NHL clout to affect change:
“There are a lot of things I would like to participate in more. There are a lot of things I would like to say, but I just think the environment is just too cloudy,” he said. “People assume that you’re left or you’re right. I don’t think either side has all the answers. I think that we have fringe elements and we have left and right for a reason. Democracy doesn’t work without balancing.”
On whether or not he considers himself a Republican or a Democrat:
“I don’t agree with everything that happened during the Obama administration. I think it was a very neo-liberal agenda at the time. I think [they were] just too cozy with interests that are not purely citizens’ interests and I feel the same way about the conservatives right now and neo-conservatives,” Miller said. “I just don’t think there’s enough attention to real citizens. I think that everything needs to just chill out and realize we’re kind of all Americans. We’re all kind of trying to make our way in the world and trying to figure it all out. We should be helping each other.”
On the political discourse in NHL locker rooms:
“Athletes do talk about a lot of current issues. I would say we are more aware than people think,” he said. “A lot of it is the, ‘Fall in line attitude’ of our game and wanting to stay to ourselves a little. I’m not willing to talk about my paradigm in public except in pieces. I feel like there are a few things that matter and I am willing to address.”
You know what? Good on Miller for speaking his mind and letting his voice be heard. Last season NFL players like Colin Kaepernick sparked controversy through silent protest and it wasn’t always clear what the players were protesting. The result frustrated and angered a lot of football fans. In Miller, hockey fans have an articulate and well respected veteran player with the ability to articulate his political concerns. You may not agree with Miller and his political stance, but you have to respect the understated way in which he uses his celebrity to affect change.