Blackhawks fans donate $23K to charity after racist chants toward Capitals' Smith-Pelly

By Alex Butler  |  Feb. 23, 2018 at 11:28 PM
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Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Chicago Blackhawks fans have donated more than $20,000 to a charity after some of their team's supporters shouted racist comments at the Washington Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly.

The incident occurred on Feb. 17, during the Blackhawks' 7-1 win against the Capitals in Chicago.

Fort Dupont Ice Arena director Ty Newberry told the Washington Post that the number was at about $23,000 as of Friday.

Last week, four Blackhawsk fans were ejected from the United Center after directing the taunts at Smith-Pelly while he was in the penalty box. After hearing the taunts, Chicago Tribune reporter Steve Rosenbloom received an email suggesting that the Blackhawks fans should donate to Smith-Pelly's charity. The Capitals' forward suggested the arena for the donations.

"Angry about the way those four racists treated #Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly in the penalty box?"

"Then here's a way #Blackhawks fans can turn this into a happy event," Rosenbloom tweeted Wednesday. He included a link to the donation page for the arena in his column.

"Just wanted to say a huge thanks to @steverosenbloom and all the hockey fans in Chicago who have contributed and supported the Fort DuPont program in DC," Smith-Pelly tweeted Friday. "I appreciate all the support that I have received from my teammates and so many in the hockey community."

On Monday, the Blackhawks announced that the individuals who performed the taunts were no longer allowed in the United Center for games.

"Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks," the organization said.

"Totally unacceptable in our game, in any sport and in society," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We have to learn from something like that. [It] can't happen. I talked to [Capitals coach Barry Trotz] yesterday, apologized to the organization and the player, Devante. We're sorry about what happened and let's learn from it."

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