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Bill Peters’ statement offers ‘sincere apology’ to Flames, ‘anyone negatively affected’

Bill Peters writes a letter to General Manger Bred Treliving and expresses a "sincere apology for offensive language" and says that he has "regretted the incident since it happened."

Bill Peters released a statement in the form of a letter to Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving on Wednesday regarding Akim Aliu’s claims that Peters made racist remarks toward Aliu during Peters’ and Aliu’s time with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis and TSN’s Bob McKenzie ranked among those who received Peters’ letter/statement, which you can see at the bottom of this post. Here’s a full transcription of Peters’ letter to Treliving and the Flames, which also included Peters’ signature:


Please accept this as a sincere apology to you, and the entire Calgary Flames organization, for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago. I know that my comments have been a source of both anger and disappointment, and I understand why. Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said.

The statement was made in a moment of frustration and does not reflect my personal values. After the incident, I was rightfully challenged about my use of language, and I immediately returned to the dressing room to apologize to the team. I have regretted the incident since it happened, and I now also apologize to anyone negatively affected by my words.

I am aware that there is no excuse for language that is offense. I meant no disrespect for what I said, and it was not directed at anyone in particular. But that doesn’t matter; it was hurtful and demeaning. I am truly sorry.

I accept the reality of my actions. I do believe that we must strive to act with integrity, and to take accountability for what we say and do. This letter is intended to do exactly that; I hope it is is accepted as intended.

I appreciate the thorough review of this situation being undertaken by the Flames. It’s the right thing to do, and I support it fully.


Bill Peters

There is a lot to take away from that statement/letter.

  • The first party receiving an apology is “you [Treliving] and the entire Flames organization.”
  • Akim Aliu is not mentioned by name. The closest you could say is a blanket apology to “anyone negatively affected by my [Peters’] words.”
  • Peters claims his “offensive language” was “not directed at anyone in particular.”
  • Peters also states that, when called out for his “use of language,” he immediately returned to the Rockford IceHogs’ dressing room to “apologize to the team.”
  • There’s no mention of Peters’ time with the Carolina Hurricanes. Former Hurricanes player Michal Jordan accused Peters of kicking and punching players during games, claims that current Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour corroborated as “for sure happened” on Wednesday.

Here’s part of Aliu’s comments on Twitter, which Aliu then expanded upon to TSN’s Frank Servalli.

Again, Peters addressed the incident, but didn’t mention Aliu by name, and also claimed that the comments weren’t directed “at anyone in particular.”

This process still appears to be ongoing, as the Flames and/or NHL continue to investigate claims. As Eric Macramalla details for Forbes, a possible firing situation would become more complicated if Calgary is hoping to fire Peters with just cause, with millions possibly on the line. It’s unclear if those factors played into how Peters’ statement was worded.

Peters was not on the Flames’ bench during the team’s 3-2 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.