BC Hockey is now overseeing an investigation into the alleged use of a racial slur by a Salmon Arm minor hockey player against a player from Kamloops.
Representatives from both the Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association (SAMHA) and the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association (OMAHA) commented Tuesday, March 6, that BC Hockey is now handling the investigation and related communications.
The provincial hockey body’s communications manager, Keegan Goodrich, said in a email to the Observer that BC Hockey was unable to comment at that time as it was awaiting investigation reports from the associations involved.
The investigation involves a Salmon Arm minor hockey player who allegedly called a Kamloops player the “N-word” while on the ice during a series of Bantam Tier 3 round-robin playoffs at the Sicamous arena on Friday, Feb. 23.
Sandy Horner, the mother of the Kamloops player, said the racial slur was overheard by a teammate who reported the incident to the Kamloops coaches.
“Sadly, my son is used to this happening and, as a rule, he does not report it anymore because nothing is ever done about it,” Horner told the Observer. “In the past, even when we have said something, we’ve always been told there’s nothing that can be done about it because only your son heard it or the refs didn’t hear it… What’s great is that he has great teammates and he has great coaches.”
Following the incident, both SAMHA president Tim Giandomenico and OMAHA vice-president Terry Rolston said the matter was being investigated and emphasized there was no place in the game for such behaviour.
“We take it very seriously, at the organization, this is one of the most, if not the most serious of offences there can be – not just minor hockey, but in any association,” said Giandomenico.
BC Hockey policy refers to unwelcome slurs or suggestions about a person’s “race, national or ethnic origin” as examples of harassment. If a BC Hockey investigative officer determines alleged conduct constitutes a clear case of harassment, the officer submits recommendations to a discipline committee to determine what action be taken.