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Black NHL player Wayne Simmonds got into a fight with a player for Tere in his third game with Liberec of the Czech Extraliga and was serenaded by fans with “opice,” a term that means “monkey” in English.
Sadly, Simmonds, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, said he has become accustomed to such vile behavior, playing a sport populated by just a few African-Americans. This case was so nasty that both teams issued apologies.
In the aftermath of the chants, both teams released statements condemning the actions of some fans in attendance.
Tere’s their apology: “We are disgusted by the behavior of a group of spectators who greatly damaged the reputation of the club. We would like to deeply apologize to the players and Mr. Simmonds.”
“It was embarrassing, pathetic and small. I ask these people to not attend Chomutov hockey games. In fans like them we are not interested in. We’ll do our best to find people who are the originators of this act and prevent them entry to the stadium.” said Chomutov general manager Jaroslav Veverka.
Ctibor Jecha, Liberec GM: “We highly appreciate the position of the leadership of Chomutov, which unambiguously condemned the behavior of a small group of fans and take action to prevent other similar expressions.”
Last September when during a preseason game in London, a fan tossed a banana peel onto the ice as Simmonds was skating in on a shootout attempt.
Afterward, he told said to the Philadelphia Daily News:”When you’re a black man playing in a predominantly white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that. Over the past 23 years of my life, I’ve come to expect some things like that. But I’m older and more mature now, I kind of just let things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that.”