After expelling four fans for racially taunting a black NHL player, the Chicago Blackhawks have announced that the fans will be banned from ever entering the stadium again.
The four fans were ejected last weekend for racial taunts against Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly, who was in town for the February 18 game.
“Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks,” Blackhawks spokesman Adam Rogowin said in a statement on Monday, according to CBS Sports.
The 42nd overall 2010 draftee confronted the four fans who were yelling “basketball” over and over during the third period of the 7-1 Blackhawks victory. The player confronted the unruly fans as they were being escorted out by United Center security. But exactly what he said wasn’t reported.
Next, he clearly has had enough of whatever is being said, gets up to address the fans. pic.twitter.com/VLu4qHSSMy
— Evan Sporer (@ev_sporer) February 18, 2018
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said that the fans taunting was “totally unacceptable.”
“Totally unacceptable in our game, in any sport and in society today. We’ve got to learn from something like that. It can’t happen,” Quenneville said during the morning skate on Monday.
Smith-Pelly said on Sunday that it was pretty clear what the fans were doing. With the taunt of “basketball”, they were saying that hockey is not for black players.
Devante Smith-Pelly on the incident last night in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/Oz9qfFWMQH
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 18, 2018
The Blackhawks also released a statement saying in part, “We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated,” the statement read, in part.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.