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Player calls hockey coach’s apology for racial slur ‘insincere’


November 28, 2019
By The Canadian Press

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Akim Aliu is not happy with the apology Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters issued for a racial slur he allegedly used when both were in the minors 10 years ago.

The former NHL player released his own statement Wednesday on Twitter, saying he found Peters’ statement to be “misleading, insincere and concerning.”

Aliu says he has accepted an invitation from the NHL to discuss the situation and will not make any further comments until after the meeting.

Letter issued

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Peters issued a letter last night to multiple media outlets, apologizing to the Flames and general manager Brad Treliving. The letter did not mention Aliu.

In a letter addressed to Treliving released to multiple news outlets, Peters said he used “offensive language … in a professional setting a decade ago.”

Peters called it an “isolated and immediately regrettable incident.”

The statement drew criticism from some on social media.

Former NHL player Georges Laraque tweeted “The NHLFlames and the NHL can now finally conclude their investigation and fire him, what more can they need after this…?”

Aliu tweeted Monday that Peters directed racial slurs towards him when both were with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs – the Chicago Blackhawks’ top farm team – in 2009-10.

Born in Nigeria and raised in Ukraine and Canada, Aliu never referred to Peters by name, but used Calgary’s airport code “YYC” when writing about a coach who allegedly “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”

Aliu has not responded to interview requests from The Canadian Press.

Investigation ongoing

Peters did not coach the Flames on Wednesday night when Calgary won in Buffalo against the Sabres.

After the game, Treliving said the Flames’ investigation was ongoing and added there was a chance of another update on Thursday.

The Flames were scheduled to be off Thursday before returning to practice Friday in Calgary. Their next game is Saturday against the visiting Ottawa Senators.