‘It is a racist act, period’: Hockey leaders say change needed after alleged racial gesture during Manitoba game

Major players in the hockey world say a culture shift is needed to remove racism from Manitoban arenas.

Dauphin Kings player Klim Georgiev allegedly made a racist gesture towards the Waywayseecappo Wolverines this weekend, mimicking shooting a bow and arrow. He has since been suspended until further notice. The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is investigating.

Brigette Lacquette, Olympic silver medallist and pro scout for the Chicago Blackhawks, says the gesture was unacceptable.

“It is a racist act, period. Allowing this type of behaviour to continue is unacceptable,” she said. “I have had to experience racism my entire life growing up and playing hockey. That was 15, 20 years ago. That was a long time ago and you would think that would change by now but I guess not.”

Lacquette grew up in Mallard. Her family currently lives in Dauphin and her brother previously played with the Dauphin Kings.

She says the entire team needs to address racist behaviour for there to be change.

“There is no doubt that they have a long way to come but the effort has to be there by the full team.”

She is hopeful that organizations will step up so young players will have a better hockey experience.

Peter Woods, the executive director of Hockey Manitoba, says a new maltreatment rule created to create guidelines for discrimination penalties has increased awareness of what is not acceptable.

“I think it is a bit of a cultural shift any time there are changes that have to be made and a little bit more attention placed on some issues,” he says. “I think everyone has the responsibility to act appropriately when they are on and off the ice for the safety and well-being of all of our members.”

Woods is confident that the MJHL will review the weekend incident and find an appropriate response.

The Dauphin Kings would not respond to comment, referring to a Monday Twitter statement. The tweet said in part, “We all must remember these are young men who are still learning. This is a learning opportunity for our hockey club and we are determined to work together to educate all involved.”

CTV Winnipeg has reached out to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines for comment. 

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