The Chicago Blackhawks took action on Monday, banning a few fans from team home games after their involvement in directing racist chants at Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly on Saturday.
While Smith-Pelly was sitting in the penalty box in the third period, the hecklers repeatedly chanted "basketball" at him until he confronted them. On Sunday, Smith-Pelly said this has happened to him previously and referred to it as "disgusting".
The HBSL Fantasy playoffs begin today-be sure to get your lineup in by the start of the early 1pm ET game! "It's just one word, and that's all it takes". A game official reportedly notified security, and the fans were removed from the arena. Smith-Pelly, a black player in a sport dominated by white athletes, heard a similar taunt years before while playing in a tournament in British Columbia. "It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing, over and over". "It just shows ignorance".
Smith-Perry said after the game that while he was no stranger to such comments, he was exhausted of silently ignoring them.
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"We're at a time where we can't push this under the rug anymore", Smith-Pelly said on Sunday.
"There's absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism", remarked Capitals head coach Barry Trotz.
Interestingly enough, Suburban Stats reports Chicago's black population is at 32 percent, making them the second largest racial group residing in the metropolitan city. Playing in 50 games a year ago, the defenseman was down to 31 games this season, registering a goal and six assists in that time.