Sports

National Hockey League investigating homophobic slur in Leafs-Lightning

National Hockey League investigating homophobic slur in Leafs-Lightning

The NHL says it is investigating the use of a homophobic slur during the Tampa Bay Lightning's win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.

Although the National Hockey League did not accuse anyone specifically in the statement, or specify who the slur was directed at, the Sportsnet broadcasters did mention that Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (No. 44) seemed upset about a perceived missed hooking call, and was arguing with referee Brad Meier. The issue of homophobia is one the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club strongly condemns and takes very seriously.

'We were no good, ' Toronto coach Mike Babcock said after the 6-2 loss.

A year later, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was fined $10,000 for using an apparent homophobic slur in a playoff game against the Nashville Predators, a move that was heavily criticized as being too lenient. He later apologized for his actions. The NHL launched an investigation into the alleged incident shortly after the game. "All of those interviewed adamantly denied that Rielly uttered a slur and the audio supported their statements", said Colin Campbell, the league's executive vice-president and director of hockey operations in a statement Tuesday.

The Leafs are among clubs sponsoring game night tributes for the You Can Play movement, which encourages all LGBTQ fans to participate in sports.

It still isn't entirely clear what was said or who said it.

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Rielly was made available to the media after the game, before the matter became a hot topic. A year earlier, Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended for one game and fined $5,000 for directing a slur at an official. "It was hard at times to not make a statement because of how strongly I felt about it and the fact that it is a very important issue, but I'm very happy that it came out today that it wasn't used by me".

"But I'm very happy that it came out [Tuesday] that the word wasn't used by me".

"I think it's an opportunity for us as a team to realize that there's really no place for slurs like that in sport and in life".

Dubas said the audio from the video clip was confusing enough for people to draw different conclusions about what was said.

"He was unequivocal in his response that he didn't say that".