The Chicago Blackhawks have moved swiftly to rectify an obscene situation by banning the fans who were involved in racially charged taunts directed at Washington Capitals defenseman Devante Smith-Pelly.
A Blackhawks spokesman confirmed the ruling to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.
From the Blackhawks: "We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks."
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 19, 2018
A group of fans taunted Smith-Pelly as he sat in the penalty box in the third period of Saturday’s contest at the United Center. Fans chanted “basketball, basketball, basketball” during a verbal spat with the hockey player. The fans were removed from the arena after an off-ice official notified security.
“It’s disgusting. It’s sad that in 2018 we’re still talking about the same thing, over and over,” Smith-Pelly said to the media on Sunday. “It’s sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You’d think there’d be some sort of change or progression, but we’re still working toward it, I guess, and we’re going to keep working toward it.”