National Hockey League fans ejected for comments at black player

Corey Crawford hasn't played since Dec. 23

The four fans at the United Center yelled, "Basketball, basketball, basketball" at forward Devante Smith-Pelly while he was in the penalty box during the third period, a spokesperson for the Capitals confirmed to ESPN and other news outlets.

In a statement, the Blackhawks said the team is "committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated".

According to the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan, four fans were booted from the game following the penalty box altercation. Smith-Pelly didn't speak with reporters after Washington's 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bettman says the National Hockey League plans to remind all stakeholders that "they are entitled to enjoy a positive environment, free from unacceptable, inappropriate, disruptive, inconsiderate or unruly behaviors or actions and may not engage in conduct deemed detrimental to that experience".

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement Sunday, saying the league condemns the fans' behavior as being "unacceptable and reprehensible".

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Multiple fans were ejected at tonight's Blackhawks-Capitals game in Chicago. "You'd think there would be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working toward it, I guess, and we're going to keep working toward it".

A group of Blackhawks fans were kicked out of Saturday game in Chiacgo against the Capitals for directing racist remarks at an African-American player.

Smith-Pelly also said that he's previously heard racially-charged comments but shrugged them off.

Smith-Pelly also discussed how hard and lonely it can be for a black player in hockey. But this is far from the first incident of racist behavior towards black hockey players.

After the game, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz spoke about the incident, calling it "digusting". Just because I'm a professional hockey player: they just don't understand. After hearing the comments, the player walked over to the glass partition while holding his hockey stick and verbally confronted the fans. "You don't really have anyone".

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