Devante Smith-Pelly invites hockey team who faced racism to Capitals game. ‘Don’t let those people try and bring you down.’
The Metro Maple Leafs youth hockey team has been through a lot this season. One of their players, 13-year-old Divyne Apollon II, was subjected to racist insults by opponents during a hockey tournament.
Apollon’s teammates’ reaction was inspiring: they stood up for their teammate and created anti-racism stickers to put on their helmets. “One thing that kind of stood out was how his teammates had his back,” Smith-Pelly said in an interview before the game. “Guys on my team always have my back too. I thought it was good to recognize the team as well for standing up for their teammate.”
After hearing about the story, Capitals defenseman John Carlson approached his teammate, forward Devante Smith-Pelly, with an idea. They could invite Divyne, his coach, and his team to the Capitals game against the St. Louis Blues at Capital One Arena. Together they made a video inviting the Metro Maple Leafs to the game.
During the first intermission, Divyne and coach Brad Howington were interviewed by Al Koken for Caps Intermission Live.
“I thought it was pretty great that they did that,” Divyne said, “and that they actually cared.”