NHL players react to racial slur allegation against Calgary Flames' Bill Peters: 'Worst coach ever by far'

Sporting News

On Tuesday, a report surfaced regarding Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters and racist comments he allegedly made toward former player Akim Aliu during a stint in which both men were employed by the AHL's Rockford IceHogs.

"[Peters] walked in before a morning pre-game skate and said 'Hey Akim, I'm sick of you playing that n— s—.' He said 'I'm sick of hearing this n—s f—ing other n—s in the ass stuff,'" Aliu told TSN's Frank Seravalli. "He then walked out like nothing ever happened. You could hear a pin drop in the room, everything went dead silent. I just sat down in my stall, didn't say a word."

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

MORE: What to know about investigation into Calgary Flames coach

Following the Flames' 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins on Monday night, Peters was not made available to the media. Peters was also not with the team in any fashion for practice on Tuesday.

The NHL released a short statement in response to Aliu's accusation: "The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable. We will have no further comment until we have had an opportunity to look into the matter more thoroughly."

Here are some of the most notable reactions to the allegation.

Brad Treliving, Flames general manager

"This is a subject matter that has no place in our organization and so the magnitude and the serious nature that we take this allegation is very high," Treliving said after Calgary's practice on Tuesday. "Throughout the evening, last night and into this morning, we are starting an investigation into the incident ... Bill has not been relieved of his duties. We are continuing this ongoing investigation right now. "

Mark Giordano, Flames player

"We know it's obviously a tough situation. We knew that coming into the rink today," the Flames captain told reporters following practice. "Obviously we're all adults and professionals and we know the situation and I thought the guys got out on the ice and had a good practice.

"I think the world we live in today especially, you gotta be accountable and I think we all know there's no place for any of that sort of stuff in society but also you have to respect that the allegations are just that right now and you gotta go through the process. Like we had a meeting with Tri (Treliving) about it and we'll go from there as players. But like I said, it's really a tough, tough situation and a tough spot to be in but I thought we handled it well today and we'll move on."

Oliver Kylington, Flames player

"It's tough like you said. Never, in this organization (have I ever experienced anything racially-driven). I've been treated fairly. I've been treated respectful," Kylington told reporters. "This has never occurred to me before. It's tough news. It's hard. Sometimes you wonder how you would think of it.

"We're a family in there and we are sticking up for each other. I think we're handling it in the right way. I don't know what 'right way' is the right way but we are handling it as a family and we're going to work through it."

Milan Lucic, Flames player

"It's tough," the Flames forward said. "You can't ignore what's going on on the outside. Obviously some serious accusations that are unacceptable, not only in hockey but in the world."

Lucic did admit to not knowing his coach "too personally," as he has only been playing under Peters for two months.

Michal Jordan, former player

Jordan played two seasons under Peters with the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-16.

Sean McMorrow, former player

McMorrow played under Peters during the 2008-09 season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Zach Boychuk, former player

Boychuk played under Peters with the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2014-15 season.

Jiri Tlusty, former player

Tlusty played under Peters with the Hurricanes during the 2014-15 season.

Greg Wyshynski, ESPN reporter

Wyshynski later noted that No. 1 on that list is the most likely scenario. Firing Peters and hiring a replacement would place considerable financial restraints on the organization.

What to read next