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Blackhawks respond to unacceptable fan comments

by Eric Lear / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Blackhawks organization, Head Coach Joel Quenneville and forward Anthony Duclair responded to Saturday night's incident at the United Center involving a few attendees making hurtful comments to Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

The Blackhawks have contacted the offending individuals and notified them that they are no longer welcome at Blackhawks home games.

"Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks," the organization said.

"Totally unacceptable in our game, in any sport and in society," Quenneville said. "We have to learn from something like that. (It) can't happen. I talked to (Capitals coach Barry Trotz) yesterday, apologized to the organization and the player, Devante. We're sorry about what happened and let's learn from it."

Video: Joel Quenneville on Saturday's incident at the UC

Duclair, who said he has been a victim of racial prejudice in his career, found the exchange "very disappointing."

Video: Duclair disappointed by racist fan comments

"It's not ok," Duclair said. "Whether it happens to Devante Smith-Pelly or a random person on the street, you should be comfortable in your own skin and gender and nationality or religion, your beliefs. Everyone's equal. Everyone should love each other."

On Thursday, the Blackhawks celebrated Hockey is for Everyone night by welcoming several groups to the United Center, including the Chicago Gay Hockey Association, the Hornets Sled Hockey team, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, the You Can Play Project, Chicago Blackhawks Blind Hockey club and the Inner-City Education Program.

Video: Blackhawks celebrate Hockey is for Everyone night

As a reminder to those attending games at the United Center, if inappropriate behavior is observed at the United Center, fans can use the "Fan Assist Program" to alert security by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.

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