Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Andrew Shaw said he is "sincerely sorry" for the comments he made after getting a penalty in the Blackhawks' loss to the St. Louis Blues Tuesday, which included the use of a homophobic slur.
He said Wednesday that his "emotions got the best" of him but that he understands "it's a hurtful word."
"I'll never use that word again that's for sure," he said.
Shaw was supended for one game for using the slur and fined $5,000 for "directing an inappropriate gesture at the on-ice officials" during the game.
"It's 2016 now, it's time that everyone's being treated equally," he said. "It's a hurtful word, I know that."
In a statement released by the team Wednesday afternoon, Shaw apologized for the "insensitive remarks."
"When I got home and saw the video, it was evident that what I did was wrong, no matter the circumstances," the statement read. "I apologize to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake."
The Blakchawks organization said it "extremely disappointed" by Shaw's comments.
“We are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw's actions last night," the team said in a statement. "His comments do not reflect what we stand for as an organization. We are proud to have an inclusive and respectful environment, and to support various initiatives such as the You Can Play Project and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association. We will use this opportunity to further educate our players and organization moving forward, so that we all may learn from it."
No microphones picked up audio of what the forward said, but television cameras focused on Shaw appear to show him saying “f--- you” with the slur after getting a penalty for interference late in the third period.
Shaw was also caught on camera delivering an obscene gesture after the penalty. After getting to the box, he slammed his gear down before yelling what appears to be another round of obscenities attached to the slur.
The penalty Shaw was whistled for put the Blackhawks in a penalty killing situation late in regulation, and ultimautely the team was unable come back and now trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.
After the Game 4 loss, Shaw was asked by reporters if he had used the slur.
“I mean, emotions are high,” he said. “I really don’t know what was said, [I was] upset with the call, being that late in the game doesn’t give us a chance to tie it up.”
Earlier this month the Chicago Blackhawks teamed up with You Can Play Project, which aims to get rid of homophobia in sports. The organization tweeted this after Tuesday night’s game:
The NHL has disciplined players in the past for obscene gestures or language.
“Yes, we are looking into it, and no we can’t comment on it until that process is complete,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told NBC 5.