Blackhawks ban 4 from home games due to racist taunt

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have banned four fans from their home games for directing racist taunts toward Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

The Blackhawks also apologized to Smith-Pelly and the Capitals.

“Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks,” team spokesman Adam Rogowin said Monday in an email to The Associated Press.

Smith-Pelly was sitting in the penalty box in the third period of Saturday night’s 7-1 loss to Chicago when the fans yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” toward the winger, who is black. An off-ice official sitting next to Smith-Pelly notified United Center security and the fans were promptly ejected.

“Totally unacceptable in our game, in any sport and in society today,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the morning skate ahead of Monday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Kings.

“We’ve got to learn from something like that. It can’t happen.”

Quenneville said he talked to Washington coach Barry Trotz on Sunday and apologized.

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