Andrew Shaw Suspended One Game for Use of Homophobic Slur During Hawks Game

“I mean, emotions are high. I really don’t know what was said," the forward said after the Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Blues

Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Andrew Shaw has been suspended for one game after using a homophobic slur twice during Tuesday night’s playoff loss against the St. Louis Blues

The league announced the suspension Wednesday along with a $5,000 fine for "directing an inappropriate gesture at the on-ice officials" during the game. 

Shaw will also be required to undergo sensitivity training, according to the NHL.

The suspension means Shaw will miss Game 5 of the team's series against the Blues, where they are facing elimination. 

Shaw issued a statement about the incident Wednesday and spoke to the media in a press conference, where he apologized for the remarks.

“I am sincerely sorry for the insensitive remarks that I made last night while in the penalty box. 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."

Shaw said his "emotions got the best" of him but that he understands "it's a hurtful word."

"While Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions," NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said in a statement. "The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player."

No microphones picked up audio of what Shaw said, but television cameras focused on Shaw appeared to show him saying “f--- you” along with the slur after getting a penalty for interference late in the third period Tuesday night. 

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.

"We are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw's actions last night," the Blackhawks' 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 organizations moving forward, so that we all may learn from it." 

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. 

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