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Andrew Shaw Suspended 1 Game for Anti-Gay Slur

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NHL

Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been suspended for 1 game for directing an anti-gay slur at the on ice officials in the third period of game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the St. Louis Blues. Shaw will also be fined $5,000 for making an inappropriate gesture at the officials, and will be forced to undergo sensitivity training as well.

At 17:56 of the third period, Shaw was sent to the penalty box for an interference call. Shaw was not happy with the call on the ice, yelling at the referees and slamming his stick as he skated to the penalty box. Once in the box, Shaw pounded on the glass and yelled at someone on the ice, later to be discovered as one of the referees who made the call. The video of the situation spread all over the internet, raising criticism at Shaw and lead to an investigation from the NHL.

Shaw was asked after the game whether he made the remarks, he replied: “”It was hard to see. Emotions got the best of me. I’ll never use that word again, that’s for sure. … That’s not the type of guy I am.”. But after a day passed, Shaw released a statement: “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.” The Blackhawks also released a statement, saying they are “extremely disappointed” by the incident.

“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 the NHL’s executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell explained in a statement on the suspension . “The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”

The Blackhawks recently released a video showing their partnership with the You Can Play project, which works towards equal treatment of athletes regardless of sexual orientation. Blackhawks players Niklas Hjalmarsson and Scott Darling appeared in the video. Following the play, You Can Play tweeted that they would be reaching out to the NHL to look into the incident. They released a statement as well after the suspension was announced, stating: “All of us at You Can Play were saddened and offended to see Andrew Shaw’s use of homophobic slurs during an NHL game. We wholeheartedly support the NHL’s decision to discipline Mr. Shaw,””After four years of working with You Can Play, NHL players can no longer use ignorance as an excuse for not understanding the power of their words and the effect they have on their teammates, fans, and the LGBT community. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NHL, the Blackhawks, and Mr. Shaw as we work to finally eradicate homophobia in hockey culture.”

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