- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 18, 2018

Four Chicago Blackhawks fans were escorted out of a game between Chicago and the Washington Capitals for harassing Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with a racist comment.

A Capitals spokesman said the fans were saying “basketball, basketball” to Smith-Pelly, who is black, implying that black athletes are not suited for sports besides basketball. Smith-Pelly shouted back at the fans through the glass, stick in hand.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after the game the fans’ comment was “disgusting” and “there’s no place for it” in hockey. The Blackhawks also released a team statement:

“We were made aware of an incident at tonight’s game involving a small group of attendees who made harmful comments directed at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly. 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.”

Smith-Pelly did not address the media after the game, which Washington lost 7-1. The player may still talk about it the next time the team is available to media.

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