Four fans were ejected from Saturday’s Capitals-Blackhawks game at United Center for racist taunts directed at a member of the visiting team.
It happened after Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly, who is black, was serving a five-minute penalty for fighting Connor Murphy midway through the third period. Smith-Pelly was then subjected to racist taunts while in the penalty box, as fans chanted “basketball, basketball, basketball.”
The Blackhawks issued a statement about the incident, apologizing to Smith-Pelly and confirming that the fans were ejected for their actions.
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz called the fans’ actions “disgusting” in speaking to reporters after the game.
“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or in our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting. There’s no place for it. The athletes in our country don’t deserve that. It just shows ignorance.”
Trotz hit the nail on the head — there is no place for that type of behavior, no matter the situation. It is good to hear that the fans were ejected, and we hope that they will learn their lesson and get a grasp on how to act like human beings in public.