Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is known for going to the “hard to play places.” Wednesday afternoon the 24 year old right winger ventured into one of those areas off the ice to apologize for an insensitive remark made in the heat of battle during Tuesday Night’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues that leaves them trailing three games to one in the series.
Shaw had been assessed an interference minor with just 2:04 remaining and his team trailing by a goal when TV cameras caught him in the penalty box uttering what appeared to be a gay slur directed at someone on the ice.
Following the game, Shaw was asked twice to clarify what he said, and on both occasions told reporters he could not remember because of the emotion of the moment.
But this afternoon, the gritty forward offered up a genuine apology for the damage he and done.
The Chicago Blackhawks also issued a statement that read. ““We are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw‘s actions 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 our players and organization moving forward, so that we all may learn from it.”
The National Hockey League has suspended Shaw one game for his actions. It will be the second time in the series with St. Louis the Blackhawks will be without a key member of their team as defenceman Duncan Keith had to miss the opener to serve the sixth and final game of his suspension for swinging his stick into the face of Minnesota Forward Charlie Coyle.
Captain Jonathan Toews says the Hawks stand by their team mate, but considers this to be a “teachable moment.”
And not just for the defending Stanley Cup Champs, but the entire league. It used to be, what was said on the ice stayed on the ice. But with a multitude of TV cameras, that mentality no longer applies. It is hoped, after what happened the past 24 hours, that will also include insensitive comments involving gays and lesbians.