Black NHL player Devante Smith-Pelly taunted by Chicago fans

Ross Houston
February 19, 2018

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.

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. It's sad that [it's] 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over. Or I got the idea.

He said in a statement: "Last night in Chicago, individuals directed racial taunts and abuse at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly".

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. "And I think it's disgusting", Trotz said. And I'm sure they got the idea too.

"We've talked about this before", he said. We can't brush it under the rug.

Their actions have already been condemned by the Blackhawks and Bettman has now expressed his dismay at the incident. "We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated".

Bettman says the National Hockey League plans to remind all stakeholders that "they are entitled to enjoy a positive environment, free from unacceptable, inappropriate, disruptive, inconsiderate or unruly behaviors or actions and may not engage in conduct deemed detrimental to that experience".

After DSP was drafted by Anaheim in 2010, played in a rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C. Heard a similar "basketball" comment.

The NHL has roughly 30 black players, the Tribune reported.

He will have the opportunity to address what happened after the Capitals arrived in Buffalo on Sunday, a day before they play the Sabres.

The NHL has designated February as its "Hockey Is For Everyone" month, which "uses the game of hockey to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities".

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