Friday, 16 November, 2018

Black NHL player Devante Smith-Pelly taunted by Chicago fans

The Blackhawks celebrate Patrick Kane's second-period goal Saturday night The Blackhawks celebrate Patrick Kane's second-period goal Saturday night
Kristopher Love | 19 February, 2018, 00:35

"We can't brush [racism] under the rug", Smith-Pelly said.

The Washington Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly, a visiting black player, was taunted by four male fans shouting "basketball, basketball, basketball" Saturday night during the Chicago Blackhawks' game against the Capitals.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after the game that Smith-Pelly was upset about the situation but that he hadn't talked to him yet at length about it.

In a separate statement, the Capitals praised the Blackhawks handling of the incident.

While sitting in the box, Smith Pelly - who is black - was belittled with chants of "basketball, basketball basketball" from four Chicago fans, according to a Caps team spokesman, via The Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan.

"The National Hockey League condemns this unacceptable and reprehensible behaviour". The fans were kicked out of the arena.

The Blackhawks won the game, 7-1, but the fans' actions cost the team the respect of many.

"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". "And I think it's disgusting", Trotz said. It's just a few ignorant people being idiots, that's it.

Smith-Pelly told the Toronto Star in 2017 about an incident when he was playing in his first rookie tournament in Penticton, British Columbia.

He will have the opportunity to address what happened after the Capitals arrived in Buffalo on Sunday, a day before they play the Sabres. He also has played for Anaheim, Montreal and New Jersey.

In 2011, a fan was fined $200 after pleading guilty to engaging in a prohibited activity for throwing a banana on the ice at Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who is black, during an exhibition game at London, Ontario.