Mark Connors, a 16-year-old black Canadian hockey player, said people directed racial slurs towards him during a youth tournament in November. Hockey PEI, the agency manager of the Prince Edward Island hockey organization, has opened an investigation into the alleged incident.
The slurs surfaced during the Cresting Bird Tournament early last month, Connors said.
“Some kids in the stands called me a racial slur, one guy said Halifax has n —– for a keeper,” said Connors, a native of Nova Scotia, told the Canadian TV Channel. “In the third period, they continued talking, saying n —–, n —–, n —–.”
That wasn’t the only racist language Connors said he heard during the tournament. Connors, a goalkeeper for the Halifax Hawks’ AA under-18 team, recalls people telling him “‘You shouldn’t play hockey, this is a white man’s sport'” in a hotel where the teams are.
Hockey PEI told CBC its investigation could “take a while” because of its “complex nature”. However, until the investigation is complete, Halifax Hawks Light Hockey President Spiro Bokolas will not allow his team to compete in any PEI Hockey matches.
Bokolas said: “We are disgusted by the racist actions of players and parents during a game that all have a right to enjoy. “My stomach hurts just thinking about it and will continue to watch Hockey PEI and Hockey Nova Scotia to see if this issue is properly resolved.”
When Bokolas’ team returns to the ice, players will wear helmets with decals that say “Racism Hawks” and Connors’ number 31.
Connors said he has experienced racism in the hockey scene before. Three years ago, an opponent of Connors, then 12 years old, was called out for using racial slurs during a peewee game and received a 45-match ban.
Hockey Nova Scotia created a diverse and inclusive task force in the wake of that incident, and the organization’s executives are “confident” that the work it’s done will yield positive results for Connors and his family.
Hockey Nova Scotia CEO Amy Walsh said: “There is a zero-tolerance emphasis on abuse and I am quite confident in our Canadian Hockey family and how this is going to be addressed.” .
According to the CBC, Hockey PEI’s investigation could take “several weeks” to complete.
https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/canadian-hockey-league-investigating-claim-that-mark-connors-16-was-subject-of-racial-slurs-at-tournament/ The Canadian Hockey Federation is investigating claims that 16-year-old Mark Connors was the subject of racial slurs at the tournament.