Last year, a banana was thrown at Wayne Simmonds during a preseason game in London, Ont., and unfortunately, that seems to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this stuff.
As you know, Simmonds and Blues forward Chris Stewart left their small-town team in Germany, ETC Crimmitschau, to join the Liberec in the far-superior Czech Extraliga. Playing on Sunday in Chomutov, a town two and a half hours west of Liberec, Simmonds was involved in a scuffle.
As it was broken up, visiting fans then chanted "Opice, opice!," which translates to "Monkey, monkey!" in English.
See the video here. Simmonds, wearing No. 71 in the white jersey, skates in towards the end of the fight. You can hear the chants shortly after that.
To their credit, Piráti Chomutov were quite active in denouncing the action from their fans. They called on them to stop while the incident was happening, apologized publicly shortly after the game, and then on Monday sent a letter of apology directly to Simmonds. It reads as follows:
Dear Mr. Simmonds,
We would like to express regret about chanting that sounded from part of audience at the end of the match between Pirates Chomutov and White Tigers Liberec. We damn this behaviour and do not identify with it. We do not consider our fans people that participated in racist chanting. We do not agree with racism in any form.
Please accept our honest apology for this behaviour.
Management, players and partners of Pirates Chomutov
Kudos to Piráti Chomutov for handling this with dignity. Shame on this group of their fans.
h/t Puck Daddy