Racist comments proliferated on social media networks Thursday after Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban scored the winning goal in a double-overtime match against the Boston Bruins.
On Twitter, unhappy Bruins fans tweeted comments like "That stupid n----r doesn’t belong in hockey #whitesonly."
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According to Montreal media monitoring and analysis company Influence Communications, the N-word and Subban's name were used in conjunction on 17,000 tweets yesterday, although the majority of them were not negative.
Some dismayed Boston fans chimed in, expressing their disappointment with those issuing racist tweets.
"N----r was trending in Boston because P.K. Subban scored… It’s a rare moment in my life to be ashamed to be a Bruins fan" one person tweeted.
Another wrote, "I bet the Bruins fans calling P.K. Subban a n----r on Twitter have no idea his brother plays for their minor league team."
P.K. Subban's brother Malcolm Subban was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2012, and Jarome Iginla is a biracial right-winger for the Bruins. Both players are Canadian-born.
Boston Bruins president Cam Neely issued the following statement early Friday afternoon:
"The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday's game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization."
On Friday, several Boston Bruins players, as well as head coach Claude Julien, told CBC sports reporter Andie Bennett they condemned the offensive tweets.
"Those people are not our fans. They may think they are, but they are not," Julien said.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also issued a statement.
"This is a disgrace. These racist comments are not reflective of Boston, and are not reflective of Bruins fans. I've said before that the best hockey in the world happens when the Bruins and Canadiens play each other, and there is no room for this kind of ignorance here," Walsh said.
"Yesterday Mayor Coderre and I made a friendly wager on the series, and we closed the conversation by wishing each other the best. I would hope that fans on both sides would follow this example."
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have a longstanding rivalry that has often been marked by trash-talking the other team and their fans.
The next game in their NHL playoffs series is Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
A previous version of this story reported that a racial epithet was trending online in Boston during Game 1 of the Bruins-Canadiens series. While the word was mentioned on social networks, it was not trending on Twitter.May 02, 2014 2:44 PM ET