Blackhawks

Mayor Rahm Emanuel invites Lightning fans to Chicago

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel invites Lightning fans to Chicago

By Zareen Syed

When a city shuts your people out, invite them to yours. That could be Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s mantra.

Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President, Bill Wickett, banned out-of-state Blackhawks fans from Amalie Arena for the pair of games in Tampa Bay. In his unapologetic response, Wickett said he wants to create a hometown environment for the Lightning players and season-ticket holders. From the sounds of it though, the only logical explanation for the Lightning’s bizarre efforts is most likely the fear of being outnumbered by Blackhawks fans in their own stadium.

And in blocking out the red and black, Wickett elicited a response from the Mayor of Chicago, who knows a thing or two about plugging the city as a tourist destination into any given situation.

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So while the Lightning uses their powers, Emanuel extends the hand of (one-sided) camaraderie:


“Chicago Blackhawks supporters are known to be among the best in the NHL, and certainly we wish the Tampa Bay Lightning management would welcome Chicago fans to their city and not be afraid to let them into their arena for the Stanley Cup finals. As Mayor of Chicago, I welcome Tampa fans –and hockey fans from around the country – to fly to Chicago and enjoy our world class hotels, restaurants, cultural attractions, and then go watch Stanley Cup hockey in Chicago. It doesn’t get better than that.”

“…and not be afraid.” That’s all we really needed to hear.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: