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Racism in Minor Hockey – Rarity or Common Practice?

I came across this article today “Peewee player suspended for racism: Goalie targeted Jewish, biracial teammates”  (thanks, @wyshynski, editor at the PuckDaddy blog, for tweeting). The article tells a tale of racial slurs being bantered about on a Peewee team.  St. Albert Minor Hockey in Alberta has suspended a player after multiple reports of racism were reported.

You will have to read the article for a fuller picture, but basically:

1)      An 11 year old player was allegedly targeted by a goalie on his team for being Jewish, called a F***** Jew, and later told that Nazis killed Jews. The goalie also asked the Jewish player (during a practice) to “Go away”, and then threatened to kill him if he did not.

2)      The boy who was threatened did not come forward about the name calling/abuse, it was two other team mates who tearfully told their parents about the initial incident.

3)      Another bi-racial child on the team was also targeted by team’s goalie.

As disturbed as I was by the article and the incidents, for some reason I was not completely surprised to that something like this had taken place. I wondered if this type of thing happens more than we care to admit.

So, I have some questions for hockey moms:

1)      Does racism and racial targeting happen in minor hockey?

2)      If your child was targeted, would they tell you?

3)      If your child witnessed someone else being targeted, would they tell you about it?

4)      Do you think that the player who allegedly made the racial comments should be suspended from minor hockey? What would be the appropriate punishment?

Also, though the names of all of the players are being kept confidential, a big shout out to the players who came forward to tell their parents about what they witnessed, I can only hope my children would be such good friends and teammates in a similar situation.

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