P.K. Subban was subject to racist taunts and tweets after the Montreal Canadiens defenseman scored the game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins, but the Bruins and team president Cam Neely aren’t having it.
Neely released a statement Friday blasting the team’s fans who taunted Subban, who is black. Subban’s double overtime goal allowed the Canadiens to seize a 1-0 series lead against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization,” Neely said in a statement issued by the team. Game 2 is Saturday.
After a practice on Friday other Boston Bruins players spoke out against the racist remarks, calling it “classless” and apologizing to P.K. Subban.
“It’s very disappointing things were said on Twitter,” forward Brad Marchand said. “There’s no need, at any point and time, to be racist and obviously no one in this room or the organization feels that way, and it’s very disappointing. Obviously, we have to apologize for that coming from our fans, but hopefully there will be no more of that stuff.”
But the players noted that most of the hate was coming via the internet, with Twitter abuzz with bitter Bruins fans taking out their frustration on Subban.
“It’s very, very disappointing to hear that,” said forward Milan Lucic.”I did hear about it after the game late last night. It’s really sad that people do something like that. That’s why I’m not a big fan of Twitter and social media, because it is such a dangerous thing. To criticize someone about something that has nothing to do with hockey on an issue like that is very ignorant and stupid.”
Even Boston mayor Marty Walsh called the remarks a “disgrace.”
“These racist comments are not reflective of Boston, and are not reflective of Bruins fans,” Walsh said. “I’ve said before that the best hockey in the world happens when the Bruins and Canadiens play each other, and there is no room for this kind of ignorance here.”
The Bruins fans who directed racist slurs toward P.K. Subban likely didn’t take a close look at their own team. Subban’s brother, Malcolm, was drafted by the Bruins in 2012 and remains in their system, and Bruins’ winger Jarome Iginla himself is biracial.