Nazem Kadri was interviewed on last night’s edition of CBC News: The National. Kadri, who is already one of the fan favourites in Calgary, answered questions from Ian Hanomansing. Kadri discussed signing with the Calgary Flames, taking the Stanley Cup to the London mosque, facing racist attacks, and more. Here are some of the things he shared.
Signing with Calgary
Kadri is no stranger to playing in a Canadian market, as he spent many years as a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Kadri mentioned that he is a Canadian boy and loves living here. The direction of the team and the ability to play for a strong passionate fanbase is why he decided to sign with Calgary.
It makes complete sense, from his time with Toronto, Kadri knows all too well what it is like to play for a passionate fanbase. It’s clear that Kadri wants to compete for another Stanley Cup, and while being able to stay in a Canadian market and have his family watch the games, Calgary definitely checked all his boxes.
Bringing the Stanley Cup to the London mosque
CBC interviewed the fans who went to see Kadri at the mosque. Fans described the experience as special, inspiring, and proof that nothing is impossible. Kadri described the day as incredible. He went along to say that being able to be the first to do something and inspire the next generation is an honour and a privilege.
Kadri later shared that a big part of playing this sport is having the ability to inspire the next generation, showing that hard work will get you to where you want to go. Kadri did not have a specific inspiration for playing the sport of hockey, but later on, said that being able to break that barrier and make hockey a more diverse sport. Representation matters and Kadri knows that.
Facing racist attacks
During last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kadri faced racist attacks on social media when a play lead him to accidentally fall and injure Jordan Binnington. The remarks were disgusting. Kadri noted that he has experienced this in the past, and understands that the ignorant people in the world can not have any influence on who he is as a person. “It’s been hard at times, but I refuse to let those people impact my career and how I feel about myself,” Kadri said.
When asked about how the NHL supported him, Kadri mentioned that only a statement was made. However, the fans in Colorado were loud with their support and with their “We Stand With Kadri” signs. Kadri described the Avalanche fan support as one of the most amazing things he has ever experienced.
“Too Many Men” t-shirts
The controversy was everywhere after Kadri’s overtime goal in the Stanley Cup finals as many believed that there were too many men on the ice. Kadri decided to have some fun with the controversy by wearing a shirt at the Stanley Cup Parade that had “Too Many Men” written on it.
The shirts were on sale and all the proceeds went to the Nazem Kadri foundation. Kadri stated that they ended up getting over $200,000 in sales. “I was almost overwhelmed,” Kadri stated about the support he got.
Calgary, get ready for Kadri
Nazem Kadri seems very excited to get started with the Flames, and it’s safe to say that fans of all backgrounds and cultures are just as excited. Speaking as someone who is also a Muslim, it is still tough to describe how exciting it is to know that someone from my same background will be wearing the jersey of the team that I have cheered for my whole life. Let’s get the season started, and grab your Kadri jerseys soon before they sell out. Watch the full CBC interview with Kadri here.