On Saturday night, a group of NHL fans were removed from a hockey game after they chanted racist remarks at a black player for the Washington Capitals, Devante Smith-Pelly. According to the Washington Post, they chanted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at the player.
Sportscaster Darren Haynes tweeted a video that shows Smith-Pelly approaching the disruptors:
We need to properly educate our country about black history. I’ve seen too many NHL players have to deal with racism. February needs to stay Black history month not “Hockey is For Everyone month” in the NHL. What happened to #Capitals Devante Smith-Pelly is unacceptable but I.... pic.twitter.com/WXqNAyUWyI— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) February 18, 2018
The Capitals' coach, Barry Trotz, told CNN:
There is absolutely no place in the game of hockey or in our country for racism and I think it is disgusting.
And the Chicago Blackhawks gave this 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.
Many people were shocked:
It's disturbing something like this happened to Devante Smith-Pelly. It's perhaps more disturbing that I've received tweets since last night wondering what's so bad about chanting "basketball" at a black NHLer. We all know the meaning/intent there. https://t.co/EIVpfgrzpv— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 18, 2018
I had a dude reply to the GIF I tweeted saying it’s “concerning he reached for his weapon.” I literally have nothing left.— Evan Sporer (@ev_sporer) February 18, 2018
I had just woken up and started scrolling. It’s really disheartening. I hope there’s a swift reaction during Hockey Is For Everyone month. I’m not exactly sitting on pins and needles though ...— Evan Sporer (@ev_sporer) February 18, 2018
Others expressed outrage:
There’s no place anywhere for this kind of behavior. Hockey has become a much more diverse sport over the years and if fans can’t accept that, then they have no place following the sport.— Derek Keeter (@hvyd19) February 18, 2018
Extremely disgraceful and unexceptale. These fans should of been ejected. Did Trotz say anything about the game tho? We kinda shit the bed in this one— Billy Chambers (@Bildoor4) February 18, 2018
Oh, gross. This bs needs to end. Im glad they were ejected.— Min (and Her Books) (@minandherbooks) February 18, 2018
Many felt the fans deserved what they got:
I hope that they are removed permanently and the season ticket holders lose their tickets. This does not represent the Hawks, Fans or Chicago. Idiots.— Furna Pizza Shop 🇲🇰 (@furnapizza) February 18, 2018