Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters is apologizing to all the wrong people

By: |

In what is possibly a desperate, last ditch attempt to save his job, Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters issued a statement to GM Brad Treliving admitting to and apologizing for his use of the n-word 10 years ago.

The letter, which TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted, misses the mark in several, glaring ways. What it primarily leaves out are apologies to the actual parties that Peters is accused of having harmed.

Earlier this week, former NHL player Akim Aliu alleged that Peters directed the racial slur at him in 2008, during his time with the AHL Rockford IceHogs, where Peters was the head coach.

According to the statement Aliu gave TSN, Peters objected to Aliu’s choice in music and told him such. Other players corroborated Aliu’s account of the incident, backing up his version of events.  Aliu also told TSN that when he approached Peters about his language, Peters did not apologize, but instead went at him again for the kind of music that had been played.

“‘You know, I’m just sick of this n—– s—. It’s every day. From now on, we need to play different music,’” Peters is alleged to have said.

In his apology letter to Treliving, Peters doesn’t once mention Aliu but instead insists that his words were not directed to anyone in particular. He also contradicts Aliu’s version of events and insists he apologized right after he uttered the words.

“I am aware that there is no excuse for language that is offensive. I meant no disrespect in what I said, and it was not directed at anyone in particular. But, that doesn’t matter; it was hurtful and demeaning. I am truly sorry,” he wrote.

See also  CNN host was set to interview Ukrainian President until scandal took shape

After Aliu went public with his allegations, former Carolina Hurricanes player Michal Jordan tweeted that he’d been subjected to physical abuse by Peters while Peters was the head coach of the Hurricanes.

The Flames are also currently investigating those allegations, which have been corroborated by other players as well as current Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

Again, Peters apology leaves out any mention of those allegations. In his letter, Peters seems to place more weight not on his own actions, but on how they reflect on the club. Hockey has always been about the logo on the front and not the name on the back of the jersey, but in this case that’s a glaring misstep. The remorse Peters needs to show here is towards the people he’s actually harmed with his behavior, not the club that’s now suffering through the bad PR.

Peters is a white coach, apologizing to a white GM, for using an unutterable racial slur towards a black player, yet he somehow manages to not mention the black player at all. It’s an appalling excuse for an apology, one crafted in the hopes of smoothing over bad behavior rather than actually repenting for it.

As of now, the Flames have yet to make a decision on Peters status as head coach, but it’s increasingly clear they’re far better off without him.

Read More

Leave a Reply