The Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been suspended one game by the NHL and fined $5,000 for using a gay slur during their Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the opening round of the playoffs.
After being penalised for interference in the third period, Shaw appears to yell, “f*** you, you f****** f*****,” at somebody not seen on the screen. A few moments later, Shaw appeared to yell something similar while sitting in the penalty box.
After the game, Shaw indicated that he was upset at the call but said he didn’t know what he said during the moments in question.
However, on Wednesday, Shaw apologised for actions (via Chris Kuc of Chicago Tribune):
“I am sincerely sorry for the insensitive remarks that I made last night while in the penalty box,” Shaw said in a statement released by the Blackhawks. When I got home and saw the video, it was evident that what I did was wrong, no matter the circumstances. I apologise to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organisation, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake.”
Here is Shaw in the penalty box, the moment that has drawn the most interest and criticism.
Shaw met with the media and said he had let his emotion get the best of him.
“It was hard to see,” Shaw told the media. “Emotions got the best of me and I didn’t get any sleep (Tuesday night). It was tough on me. You know, I’m upset with myself, obviously … I do. I mean, I get it. It’s a hurtful word. It’s 2016 now. It’s time that everyone is treated equally. It’s a hurtful word, I know that. I’m sorry and I want to apologise.”
In announcing the suspension, Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations, noted that “the emotion of the moment” is no excuse for what Shaw said.
“While Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions,” said Campbell. “The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”
Immediately after the game, The You Can Play Project — a group that aims to ensure equality for all athletes regardless of sexual orientation — tweeted about Shaw’s comments, saying, “we will be reaching out to the NHL immediately to assist in an appropriate response.”