Notre Dame apologizes, investigates, after Yorkton Terrier alleges use of racial slur
REGINA -- The Athol Murray College of Notre dame has apologized after allegations one of its students used a racial slur against a member of the Yorkton Terriers at a game on Monday.
A Tik Tok video of the incident that has since been deleted shows the home crowd repeatedly heckling one player, however the alleged slur is never audible.
The school's president, who was in the stands on Monday night, told CTV News Regina that he did not hear the slur himself, but that it was brought to his attention by a member of the Terriers coaching staff following the game in Wilcox.
He called the incident a “one-off”.
“If it happened, there’s definitely no place for this type of unacceptable behavior, period,” Rob Palmarin, president of Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, said. “If it happened, we’re still investigating the person or persons responsible for the action, they will be held accountable.”
Palmarin also said he’d like to apologize to the Yorkton Terriers organization.
He said that any discipline taken against the student who allegedly uttered the slur will be an internal matter.
VIDEO SHOWS APPARENT LACK OF PHYSICAL DISTANCING
The video appeared to show a lack of physical distancing by Notre Dame students at Monday evening’s SJHL game.
Notre Dame College is adjusting it’s practice of COVID-19 public health guidelines after a social media video of a Monday night SJHL game appeared to show students failing to remain physically distant.
CTV News Regina has reached out to the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for their responses to the video.
VICTIM OF ALLEGED SLUR SPEAKS OUT
The player who was targeted by the alleged slur identified himself in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening.
“This definitely hurt, I’ve put up with a lot of racism in my life and I’ve tried to be a positive influence to bring change to it so this obviously set me off,” Kishaun Gervais wrote on Facebook. “I will never be ashamed of my Jamaican and Native descent, l am proud of who l am and l will continue to try be a positive voice for racial equality.”
Gervais, who also plays for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, declined an interview with CTV News, saying the incident has taken a toll on his mental health
The leagues president said officials at the game were not able to determine whether the slur was used, or identify the fan who allegedly said it. He said when a fan yells an obscenity or slur, they are removed from the game and it’s up to the rink or the hosting team to sanction the individual as they see fit.
“I spoke with the [Gervais] family,” Bill Chow, SJHL president said. “They just want to move on from here and that’s their wishes so that’s what we’ll do.”
One of the Terriers coaches said for people of colour in hockey, racial slurs are not uncommon.
“He was so upset. It’s not the first time that [Gervais] has heard something like that,” Scott Musqua, Yorkton Terriers assistant coach said. “As a visible minority, it’s not the first time we’ve heard these kinds of things in hockey games or baseball or daily living.”
“It’s just a word that’s unacceptable, and for the uneducated, it’s easy to say.”
Musqua said as an Indigenous man in hockey, he himself has faced many racial slurs in the community.
Gervais scored the winning goal in overtime. After scoring he was ejected from the game.
Musqua explained that he was removed from the game because he had made a “shushing gesture” to the crowd of Notre Dame students who had been heckling him throughout the game.