By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Washington Capitals were dismantled by the Chicago Blackhawks, 7-1, on Saturday night. According to Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, Devante Smith-Pelly was faced with racial slurs from the Chicago, Illinois fans.
Trotz alleges that after Smith-Pelly got into a fight with Connor Murphy in the third period, he went to the penalty box and was met with chants “basketball, basketball, basketball.” Smith-Pelly was upset from the incidents.
The fans, who reportedly said it, were removed from the game, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan, who is a Washington Post Capitals reporter, who spoke with an off-ice official.
“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting. There’s no place for it. The athletes in our country don’t deserve that. It just shows ignorance.”
The Blackhawks also released a statement on the incident.
“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 Blackhawks said in a statement. “The fans were immediately removed and we apologize to Smith-Pelly and the Washington Capitals organization. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated.”
While February is Black History Month across the country, in the NHL it is also “Hockey Is for Everyone” month. They hope to provide “a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation and social-economic status.”