Current head coach of the Calgary Flames, Bill Peters, has been at the center of controversy since players made allegations about him using racist language and being physically abuse. On Wednesday Peters wrote a letter to Flames’ general manager Brad Treliving.
In his letter, Peters does not resign but instead lays out his side of the story — wherein he allegedly used the ‘N’ word while speaking to former player Akim Aliu. Peters apologizes for his actions and acknowledges the harm they caused. But the letter does not mention Aliu by name, and it remains unclear if Peters has apologized to Aliu directly.
The letter also does not mention the corroborated accounts of physical abuse against Michal Jordan and another unnamed player.
A statement from Bill Peters, in the form of a letter to CGY GM Brad Treliving:: pic.twitter.com/YouP6ZABrm
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 28, 2019
The full text of the letter:
Please accept this as a sincere apology to you, and the entire Calgary Flames organization, for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago. I know that my comments have been the source of both anger and disappointment, and I understand why. Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said.
The statement was made in a moment of frustration and does not reflect my personal values. After the incident, I was rightfully challenged about my use of language, and I immediately returned to the dressing room to apologize to the team.
I have regretted the incident since it happened, and I now also apologize to anyone negatively affected by my words.
I am aware that there is no excuse for language that is offensive. I meant no disrespect in what I said, and it was not directed at anyone in particular. But, that doesn’t matter; it was hurtful and demeaning. I am truly sorry.
I accept the reality of my actions. I do believe that we must strive to act with integrity, and to take accountability for what we say and do. This letter is intended to do exactly that; I hope it is accepted as intended.
I appreciate the thorough review of this situation being undertaken by the Flames. It’s the right thing to do, and I support it fully.
Prior to the letter, former player Akim Aliu shared via Twitter the story of Peters entering the team’s dressing room and repeatedly using the ‘N’ word while speaking to Aliu about the music being played. Two teammates have corroborated Aliu’s story. Peters does not deny these events, though there is a notable discrepancy: Peters says, “[my statements were] not directed at anyone in particular.”
It seems clear to Aliu that the remarks were addressed to him, as he recounted it to Frank Seravalli of TSN, saying, “He walked in before a morning pre-game skate and said ‘Hey Akim, I’m sick of you playing that n—– s—.'”
Additionally, Peters says he immediately returned and took ownership for his actions. “After the incident, I immediately returned to the dressing room to apologize to the team,” Peters writes.
When Peters then called Aliu into his office to talk about it, Aliu said Peters did not apologize. Instead, Peters again expressed his displeasure in Aliu’s choice of music for the dressing room, with Aliu saying Peters said: “You know, I’m just sick of this n—– s—. It’s every day. From now on, we need to play different music.”
Peters’ letter does not address the multiple confirmed allegations of physical abuse.
To this point, that #Canes player has wished to remain anonymous. It’s his story to tell, until then.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) November 26, 2019
If Peters had apologized to the person he hurt–Akim Aliu– his apology would have been accepted. “There isn’t much that you can do or say to me that I can’t accept an apology for,” Aliu tells TSN. “He wasn’t man enough to apologize to me and move on.”
Ten years later, a written apology to the general manager might be too little too late. This letter may be a test balloon by the team to see if the controversy will die down. Right now, we do not know the particulars of the investigation that is occurring, who is running it, what its findings may be, and what actions general manager Brad Treliving may take.
#Flames GM Brad Treliving on Akim Aliu’s allegations of racial slur by Bill Peters: “This type of allegation, it’s repulsive … Now, it’s my job to find out exactly what’s taken place.”
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) November 26, 2019
For now, at least, Peters is not actively coaching the team.
11/28 update: Akim Aliu has responded to Bill Peters’ statement.
— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) November 28, 2019
Headline photo: NHL
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.