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Sports NHL, Capitals condemn fans who racially taunted Devante Smith-Pelly

08:05  19 february  2018
08:05  19 february  2018 Source:   sportsnet.ca

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The NHL has issued a statement condemning the actions of the four fans who racially taunted Devante Smith-Pelly during Saturday’s 7-1 Chicago Blackhawks win over the Washington Capitals.

“Last night in Chicago, individuals directed racial taunts and abuse at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wrote. “The National Hockey League condemns this unacceptable and reprehensible behavior. The League fully supports the actions taken by the United Center and the Blackhawks to eject the offenders and would expect the same response to any similarly unacceptable behavior at any of our arenas.

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“While this incident was isolated in nature, no player, coach, official or fan should ever have to endure such abuse at one of our games. 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.”

The Capitals also sent out a statement denouncing those four fans and extended their thanks to the Blackhawks organization for dealing with the situation swiftly.

“The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior [sic] extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center,” Washington’s statement reads. “The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior [sic] is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game.”

Trotz speaks out on fans’ racially charged taunting of Smith-Pelly

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Smith-Pelly was verbally assaulted by a group of four Blackhawks fans while in the penalty box. According to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan the fans were yelling “basketball” at the Capitals winger repeatedly, forcing Smith-Pelly to get up and exchange some words with the offenders.

The Blackhawks ejected the abusers in question.

After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz had strong words for the four fans and racists, in general.

“There is absolutely no place in the game of hockey, or our country, for racism. I think it’s disgusting,” Trotz told reporters. “There’s no place for it. Athletes in this country don’t deserve that. It just shows ignorance.”

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