The National Hockey League (NHL) announced on Wednesday that Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will be suspended for one game, fined $5,000, and has been ordered to attend a “sensitivity training” course for what the league referred to as a “homophobic slur,” that has been deemed politically incorrect.
According to the league, Shaw released the politically incorrect, or as they put it, “inappropriate gesture” at the officials during Game 4 of the team’s first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday in Chicago.
Andrew Shaw will not be allowed to play in Game 5 of the series, which is scheduled for Thursday in St. Louis.
As you can see below, Shaw began by giving the targeted referee a two-fingered salute, as well as shouting something unknown (but lip-reading gives you a pretty good idea that it included several words beginning with the letter “f”).
Shaw also clearly yelled gay slurs at the ref in the box. Nice. pic.twitter.com/FqV3cGdsh4
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 20, 2016
“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 NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”
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Only a week ago, Shaw announced that he was growing a beard for the playoffs and was holding a “beardathon” to raise money for charity:
I’m growing one for the team this playoff season. Help support Chicago Blackhawks Charities by pledging to my beard! https://t.co/ktcDasHqEB
— Andrew Shaw (@shawz15er) April 14, 2016
Both Andrew Shaw and the Chicago Blackhawks team issued statements following the “homophobic slur.”
“I am sincerely sorry for the insensitive remarks that I made last night while in the penalty box. When I got home and saw the video, it was evident that what I did was wrong, no matter the circumstances. I apologize to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake.”
“We are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw’s actions last night. His comments do not reflect what we stand for as an organization. We are proud to have an inclusive and respectful environment, and to support various initiatives such as the You Can Play Project and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association. We will use this opportunity to further educate our players and organization moving forward, so that we all may learn from it.”