The National Hockey League announced Tuesday that it was investigating allegations against Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters that he had once used racist insults against a player and downgraded him to the minor league after the player pushed back.
The player, Akim Aliu, who was born in Nigeria, made the allegations on Twitter on Monday evening. He said when he played for the Chicago Blackhawks' subsidiary, Rockford IceHogs, a decade ago, Peters, who is white, "threw the N-bomb at me in the locker room several times in my freshman year because he didn't ". I don't like my choice of music. "
Aliu said that after he "rebelled" against the coach for using racist insults, Peters retaliated against him and advised executives to move Aliu to a lower league. Before that, he was seen as a 20-year-old player who "had a great start to his professional career".
The N.H.L. said in a statement "The behavior put forward is repulsive and unacceptable," adding, "we will not make any further comments until we have had the opportunity to investigate further."
Talk to reporters On Tuesday, Brad Treliving, General Manager of Flames, said the team had launched an investigation into Aliu's allegations on Monday evening. But he added, "Bill was not released from his duties." However, he later said that Peters would not train the team during Wednesday night's game, The Associated Press reported.
"We are not losing the seriousness of this," Treliving said earlier at a press conference in Buffalo, where the team will play a game Wednesday night. "We take it with the utmost seriousness. Until I can speak personally with everyone involved and with everyone we want to have with us, we will not make any comments. "
"We are continuing this ongoing investigation," he said. “We hope that this will be done quickly, but it has to be thorough. It has to be thorough and it has to be done correctly. "
Peters did not publicly comment on the allegations and was not present during the team's training on Tuesday. The Blackhawks said in a statement on Tuesday that the allegations are "something we take seriously."
"The alleged incident was not reported or brought to our attention yesterday and had no impact on the players' personal decision regarding Mr. Aliu," the team said in the statement.
The allegations come two weeks after another racist language scandal that rocked the world of Canadian hockey. Don Cherry was a well-known fixture on the programs of "Hockey Night in Canada" Fired earlier this month because of its extensive airborne utterances, which were widely viewed as an attack on patriotism by immigrants.
Aliu, who is currently a free agent, expanded his allegations against The Sports Network, a Canadian broadcaster.
He told the network that Peters had insulted him in the locker room in front of other players with racial insults because he was upset with Alius' music selection. Two of his former teammates, Simon Pepin and Peter MacArthur, confirmed his account, the network said.
"Then he went out as if nothing had ever happened," Aliu said of Peters. "You could hear a pin drop, everything fell silent. I just sat in my booth and didn't say a word. "