The NHL only has about 30 black players in the league and this is just one of several incidents over that past few years. This time the target was Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly, who was taunted by fans while in the penalty box. Here are more details from the Chicago Tribune:
Four fans were ejected from the United Center on Saturday night for directing racist comments at the Capitals’ Devante Smith-Pelly while he was in the penalty box during the third period of his team’s game against the Blackhawks.
The Washington Post reported that a Capitals official said the fans yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. United Center security was notified of the incident and kicked out the four people. According to the Associated Press, all four fans were male.
““The fans were immediately removed and we apologize to Smith-Pelly and the Washington Capitals organization,” the statement continued. “We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated.”
In 2011, a banana was thrown at Wayne Simmons from the Philadelphia Flyers and in 2012 the Capitals Joel Ward scored a playoff game-winner that resulted in death threats and racists messages directed towards him on social media. Flip the page for video of the incident with Devante Smith-Pelly.