Four NHL hockey fans kicked out over racist comments toward player

Doug Mendoza
February 19, 2018

Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly was allegedly on the receiving end of taunts from fans in Chicago's United Center, forcing security to remove several of those responsible for the chants. United Center security was called and escorted the fans from the building. According to Bleacher Report, Smith-Pelly squirted a heckling fan with his water bottle.

It was confirmed after the incident that four total fans were ejected from the game in the third period due to the racist taunts. He was coming off the ice and heard a fan scream "go back to playing basketball".

Smith-Pelly said this is not the first time an incident like this has happened.

The fans' taunts occurred during the NHL's monthlong "Hockey is for Everyone " campaign to promote the game as being inclusive for all players regardless of race, color, religion, national origin or gender.

"The League will take steps to have our clubs remind all stakeholders that they are entitled to enjoy a positive environment - free from unacceptable, inappropriate, disruptive, inconsiderate or unruly behaviours or actions and may not engage in conduct deemed detrimental to that experience".

"There is absolutely no place in the game of hockey or in our country for racism and I think it is disgusting", Capitals' Coach Barry Trotz told reporters after the game.

"Athletes in our country don't deserve that". "So he said, 'It's just a few idiots being ignorant'".

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Said Smith-Pelly to the Star: "I can't go to anyone on my team and have them understand really how it is to be in my shoes".

"It's disgusting. It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing, over and over", he said.

Four fans at the Chicago Blackhawks game Saturday night were ejected for yelling racially charged chants at Devante Smith-Pelly on the visiting Washington Capitals.

We're at a time now, we can't brush it under the rug.

The NHL has roughly 30 black players, the Tribune reported.

"We were made aware of an incident at tonight's game involving a small group of attendees who made harmful comments directed at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly".

The incident comes during the NHL's "Hockey Is For Everyone" month, which aims to drive social change and promote diversity and inclusiveness in the game of hockey.

Other reports by GizPress

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