National Hockey League fans ejected for racist taunts at Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly

by Steven Clarke February 19, 2018, 0:39
National Hockey League fans ejected for racist taunts at Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly

The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Washington Capitals 7-1 Friday night at the United Center - but that's not the story.

In a statement, the Chicago Blackhawks said the team was aware of the incident and apologized to Smith-Pelly and the Capitals.

During the third period, while Smith-Pelly was in the penalty box, several fans shouted "basketball, basketball" at him, implying that black players didn't belong in hockey. United Center ushers removed four fans from the game after the incident.

NBC Sports Washington's Tarik El-Bashir reported Smith-Pelly would likely "address the situation at the next media availability". "There's no place for it", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after the game.

"We've talked about this before", he said.

Smith-Pelly couldn't believe this was happening in 2018.

Yeah, it's disgusting. I don't even really know. "It just shows ignorance".

While there is no audio and video of the taunts, the moment was clearly caught on cameras as Smith-Pelly confronts the fans in the penalty box.

The NHL, the Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks were all quick to condemn that kind of fan behavior, saying it has no place in hockey.

In a statement, the Blackhawks said the team is "committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated".

Smith-Pelly debuted in 2011 and has played 320 games for the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and the Capitals, whom he joined last summer. He is one of only 30 black players in the league. He has seven goals and 16 points in 54 games this season.

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. noted 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.

TOP News

Aly Raisman has a message for victim blamers

Tops Markets Could File for Bankruptcy, According to Bloomberg

Michigan State faculty delivers no-confidence vote on board of trustees

Giant Slalom Postponed Due to Strong Winds at PyeongChang Games

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigns amid political crisis

Danske Bank stays bullish on sterling following inflation report release

Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes South and Central Mexico

This is the all-new second-generation BMW X4 coupe-SUV

In Pyeongchang, High Winds Are No Breeze for Athletes

Google Experiment Brings Smart Replies Feature To Popular Messaging Apps