A U11 Ridge Meadows minor hockey team is being accused of hurling racial slurs at a team from Surrey.
The incident happened during a tournament game in Febraury in Coquitlam that resulted in the Surrey team being pulled from the ice by their coach, Brian MacGillivray, rather than be subject to the insults.
According to a release from Laura Ballance Media Group on Tuesday, May 2, 10-year-olds on the Ridge Meadows team called players on the Surrey team “monkey”, “banana” and the N-word.
By taking his team off the ice, MacGillivray received a 30-day suspension from BC Hockey, for the “Refusing to Start Play” rule mandated by Hockey Canada.
However, a month later, MacGillivray was released from his coaching duties by the Surrey Hockey Association, causing a stir with parents who wanted the coach back.
Jeff Shelton, president of Surry Thunder Minor Hockey, said there were racial slurs uttered during the game.
He said the Surrey minor hockey association “100 per cent” backed the coach of the team, and did not think he deserved to be suspended for taking the team off the ice.
“We went to bat for him through the whole thing. And we still believe he did the right thing,” he said.
He said even Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey president Nick Davis backed the Surrey team and wrote a letter to BC Hockey asking that the coach not be suspended.
Shelton noted that MacGillivray being relieved of his coaching duties and the incident at the tournament are not related at all.
Ridge Meadows president Davis said in a statement to The News, that the hockey association does not condone racism or discrimination of any sort.
“We deny allegations that our nine and 10-year-old children used racial slurs, or knowingly made comments that could be inferred as racist, to or about the opposing team. We have completed an internal review and believe that this incident was a misunderstanding,” said Davis.
Davis added that they are cooperating fully with the other minor hockey association, BC Hockey and the third party investigation process implemented by Hockey Canada.
“We look forward to the results of the third party investigation,” he said.
• With files from Tom Zillich/Surrey Now-Leader
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