Black hockey player says rink racism should be dealt with immediately, like other penalties – Halifax

When a hockey player hits someone from behind and sends a player crashing into the board, he receives an immediate penalty and game misconduct. It shouldn’t be any different when racism comes into play, said 16-year-old Halifax Hawks goaltender Mark Connors.

Connors, a black hockey player, tells his story of alleged racial abuse he allegedly suffered at a hockey tournament in Charlottetown almost three weeks ago.

“It started with spectators hurling racist slurs at me, saying, ‘N-word you shouldn’t be here’ or ‘Halifax has an N-word for a goalie,’ Connors said. “A guy said, ‘N-word, you suck,’ and that sort of thing.”

Read more:

Halifax goalie gets support following alleged racist incident at PEI hockey tournament.

It rocked the young keeper, but he tried to stay focused on the game. He then shared the comments he received with his coaching staff.

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“I told the coaching staff I was pretty angry about it,” Connors said. “This should not happen in 2021.”

The Hawks contacted tournament organizers and Hockey PEI to find out what would happen next and were told Hockey PEI is taking the matter seriously and has engaged a third-party investigator from out of province to investigate.

The Hawks are happy with the decision, but the organization and 700 players will no longer travel to Prince Edward Island to participate in tournaments until the matter is resolved.

“We were very clear that until we were convinced that this would be a safe environment for all of our players, we would not be returning to PEI at any time. Said Craig Robinson, vice president of community engagements with the Falcons.

The Hawks executive says they have a zero tolerance policy for racism and must take all measures to protect the well-being of their players.

“The Hawks have several players who play on different teams, but we are one team, and if one of our members is not safe to go somewhere, neither of our teams is safe to go. Robinson said.

Hockey PEI posted a statement on its Twitter page saying it was made aware of the allegations of racial discrimination on November 24 and took immediate action by opening an investigation into the serious matter.

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“This incident is still under full investigation and we will share our findings at the end of the process,” Hockey PEI President Al MacIsaac said in the statement.

Robinson says the Hawks are encouraged by Hockey PEI’s commitment to investigate the matter, but that it must be dealt with in a timely manner.

“We think maybe it should have happened sooner than now, but at least they recognized there was a need for external support and professional advice and they are moving forward,” said Robinson.

Connors agrees and says incidents of racism in the hockey arena should be dealt with immediately, like any other penalties or infractions, but hopes the investigation can come up with better ways for hockey organizations to deal with the problem. faster.

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“It’s a little frustrating knowing that players are suspended the next day for things on the ice,” said Connors. “It now lasts three weeks and so surely there could have been a quicker response to this type of incident.”

Connors says it’s important for him to share his story to shed light on the issue of racism in sports “because it shouldn’t happen,” but the goalie knows he’s not alone.

Others reached out and supported him, such as NHL defenseman PK Subban, who took to Twitter to show his support.

“When does he stop? Subban wrote. “Believe it or not, these stories are sent to me every day. This happens every day in our game. EVERY DAY! “

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Connors’ dad Wayne says the support for his son has been incredible, but he wants Hockey Canada to step in and help with the ongoing investigation.

“Hockey PEI needs some help,” he said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Catherine J. Martinez