Racial insensitivity has become all too commonplace over the last couple years, and far more blatant since white supremacist ideals have re-emerged in society. Whether or not this is to be chalked up to racist behavior by many recent top leaders in the country, the reality is that more and more people are adopting the horrid behavior.
In one of the most recent portrayals of this egregious sentiment, four NHL hockey fans have been served a lifetime ban after racially taunting an African-American hockey player at a game on Saturday. According to an NBC report,
‘Four Blackhawks fans were kicked out of Saturday’s game against the Capitals at United Center after racially-charged taunts were made toward Smith-Pelly. Smith-Pelly, serving five-minute major for fighting in the third period, got upset with a fan next to him who, according to the Washington Post, was chanting, “Basketball, basketball, basketball,” toward Smith-Pelly, who is black.’
The fans may have been lobbing racially-fueled attacks against Smith-Pelly, chanting “basketball” as a means of claiming that African-Americans have no place in hockey, but rather should be playing basketball. Nevertheless, the Chicago Blackhawks’s organization quickly took a stand against the four alleged fans, issuing a post and punishment on Monday.
In doing so, the Blackhawks posted a statement to their website, reiterating that racism or discriminatory behavior is inappropriate and intolerant at their sporting events, and any fans who portray such attitudes or actions should expect to be handled in the same manner as the aforementioned fans.
Blackhawks have contacted the ejected fans from Saturday night and told them they are banned from future games. Via a team spokesperson: "Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks."
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 19, 2018
The National Hockey League’s Commissioner, Gary Bettman, also took a stance at the alleged behavior, claiming that the behavior was both unacceptable and reprehensible. Bettman further lauded the Blackhawks organization in taking the measures that they did against the fans, fully supporting the lifetime ban.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) February 18, 2018
Interestingly enough, the racially-insensitive incident occurred in Hockey is for Everyone month, a league-wide tradition under the NHL highlighting the need for tolerance, diversity, and acceptance of all individuals, regardless of the race or creed. The move by the Blackhawks sends a clear and direct message not only to hockey fans, but also fans of other sports, in depicting that such behavior will continue to have zero tolerance in major sports stadiums.
So in Hockey Is For Everyone month 2018 we’ve had
•Gallagher dog whistle Subban
•Grapes say women hockey players weren’t dressing like fashion models
•Milbury say the Kings lost a great player after Voynov beat his wife bloody
•Blackhawks fans racially taunt DVSP.
— The Tellington Touch (@Kyle_Bauer) February 18, 2018
Featured Image Via Twitter