During Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Devante Smith-Pelly was subjected to racist taunts while in the penalty box. The fans involved in the incident were ejected from the game. Since then, several statements have been made by the NHL, Blackhawks and Capitals condemning the behavior.
Monday, per an update from Blackhawks beat reporter Mark Lazerus, those fans have been banned from future games.
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
Specific details on the ban aren’t currently known. Lazerus later elaborated that the Blackhawks told the fans they were “no longer welcome.” We can only assume that that constitutes a lifetime ban on the fans in question.
Anthony Duclair told The Chicago Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney, “It’s not OK. Whether it happens to Devante Smith-Pelly or a random person on the street, you should be comfortable in your own skin and gender and nationality or religion, your beliefs. Everyone’s equal. Everyone should love each other.”
He further stated, “You would think there’d be some change after some years especially when we came out with the ad ‘Hockey is for Everyone,’” he said. “How do I feel? I mean, like we have some Blackhawks fans that think a certain way. If they’re Blackhawks fans, they would know there is a black hockey player on the team.”
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