Simmonds racially abused by fans
The Czech Republic's ice hockey federation says it has fined a club after its fans aimed racist chants toward Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, who is playing in the top Czech league during the NHL lockout.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the federation said the Chomutov Pirates were fined 30,000 koruna ($1,554) by its disciplinary committee for the chants directed toward Simmonds, who currently plays for the Liberec White Tigers.
The incident took place during Sunday's game between the Pirates and the Tigers.
According to TSN.com, after Simmonds got into a fight with a Chomutov player, some fans of the home team started chanting "opice" at Simmonds — a word that translates to "monkey."
This comes a little over a year after a fan threw a banana peel onto the ice during a preseason game in Canada while Simmonds was skating in for a penalty shot.
Having played hockey his entire life, Simmonds has dealt with situations like this in the past and has learned to deal with them.
"When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like that," Simmonds told the Philadelphia Daily News after the incident in Canada. "Over the past 23 years of my life, I've come to expect some things like that. But I'm older and more mature now, I kind of just let things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that."
Chomutov has apologized to Simmonds, and the club said it would do everything it can to prevent any such abuse in the future.
NESN contributed to this report