Calgary Flames Coach Resigns After ‘N-Word’ Controversy

Credit to Author: Mack Lamoureux| Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2019 17:07:06 +0000

Bill Peters is no longer the coach of the Calgary Flames.

The news comes less than a week after stories about the 54-year-old repeatedly used the “N-word” towards a black player and physically abusing others came to light. In a Friday press conference, Flames general manager Brad Treliving announced that Peters submitted a resignation letter to the team and that it was accepted. Geoff Ward will now step in as an interim coach for the struggling hockey team.

The news comes during a time where hockey seems to be having a reckoning with its toxic culture.

After a story broke about humiliating head games that recently fired Toronto Maple Leaf coach Mike Babcock would play with his players, Akim Aliu, a former NHLer who played under Peters during his time in the AHL tweeted about an incident in which the coach used the “N-word” to denigrate hip-hop.

“Not very surprising the things we’re hearing about Babcock. Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree, same sort of deal with his protege in YYC,” tweeted Alui. “Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”

Only a few hours after Alui’s statements, Michal Jordan, a former NHL defenceman, tweeted about the physical abuse he received from Peters during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes. Jordan said that Peters kicked him in the back and punched other players.

In a press conference, Treliving said the Flames held a full review process that started immediately after they became aware of the Alui tweet. This included speaking to former players of Peters and management of the former teams he worked for. The GM said he was not aware of these allegations when they hired the coach. He admitted that the process may not have worked as quickly as some may have wanted it too. Treliving described the actions as "repulsive" and called the process the most difficult thing he's had to deal with in his time in hockey.

"This was something that needed to be handled correctly," said Treliving. "It was something that needed to be handled in a timely manner but I was not about to trade carelessness for thoroughness."

“It’s been a difficult time. But we are ready to move forward.”

Earlier this week Peters released a letter in which he admitted that he used “offensive language” but said he apologized quickly afterwards. Alui disputed this description of the incident and said that he didn’t accept the apology; he described it as “misleading, insincere, and concerning.”

Peters has been an NHL coach since 2014. Following a stint in the AHL he joined the Carolina Hurricanes and remained there until 2018 when he left and joined the Calgary Flames.

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