Andrew Shaw was apologetic for the homophobic slur he used late in the Blackhawks’ game on Tuesday night, understanding that what he said was wrong.
He will, however, face consequences.
Shaw was suspended one game for using a slur in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. He was also suspended $5,000 for directing an inappropriate gesture at an on-ice official. Shaw did both after being called for roughing with about two minutes remaining in regulation.
He is also required to undergo sensitivity training.
Colin Campbell, the league’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement that, “while Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions. The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”
A visibly upset Shaw addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon before the Blackhawks departed for St. Louis, where they’ll play Game 5 on Thursday night without him in the lineup. Speaking a few minutes after the game, Shaw said he didn’t remember what he said. This afternoon Shaw said he watched video of his slur late last night and “had a tough time sleeping.”
“I have no excuses for anything,” Shaw said. “I want to apologize to the gay and lesbian community. That’s not the type of guy I am. This is hard for me. I saw the video last night and I had a tough time sleeping. What’s gotten to me is that I let my emotions get the better of me. I want to apologize to the organization, the NHL, my teammates, my family and my friends. Obviously I’m sorry it’s a tough time for me right now.”
The Blackhawks issued statements, from the organization and from Shaw, before the team’s availability on Wednesday afternoon. The Blackhawks, in that statement, said, “we are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw'sactions last night. His comments do not reflect what we stand for as an organization. We are proud to have an inclusive and respectful environment, and to support various initiatives such as the You Can Play Project and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association. We will use this opportunity to further educate ourplayers and organization moving forward, so that we all may learn from it.”
Jonathan Toews called the incident “a teachable moment.”
“I think we can all be a little more conscious of the impact that word might have and know that it can be used loosely. I think we’re all thinking about that much more than if we haven’t before. And we stand behind Shawzy and who he is as a person, behind his apology as well,” Toews said. “I think we all know what type of person he is. He’s a great guy that everyone loves in the locker room. Obviously he knows he made a mistake in the heat of the momentlast night.”
Coach Joel Quenneville agreed with Toews’ sentiment and offered his apologies as well.
“What Andrew did was unacceptable and a very good experience to learn from,” said Quenneville, who was asked what could be done to eliminate that word. “I think the education, what we’re talking about right now, is the best way to eradicate what we’re talking about.”
Shaw let his emotions get the best of him, and it will cost him what could be the Blackhawks’ final game of the postseason. He said he’s learned from his mistake, from his terrible choice of word and says, “I’ll never use that word again, that’s for sure.”
“I do, I get it. It’s a hurtful word and it’s 2016 now,” Shaw said. “It’s time that everyone’s treated equally.”