British Columbia

'Racism crosses the line': Hockey mom raises alarm after son called N-word on ice

A Kamloops mother is speaking out after her 14-year-old son was called the N-word during a minor hockey game in Sicamous last weekend.

Hockey association investigating the incident

Sandy Horner (right) says her son Ty (left) has been called the N-word while playing hockey for six years. (Submitted by Sandy Horner)

A Kamloops mother is speaking out after her 14-year-old son was called the N-word during a minor hockey game in Sicamous, B.C., last weekend.

"Chirping is going to happen," Sandy Horner told CBC's Doug Herbert during an interview on Daybreak Kamloops.

"Racism crosses the line."

This isn't the first time her son, Ty, has had a racial slur directed at him; Horner said he started hearing that word in hockey when he was eight years old. In fact, he's heard it so often, he's stopped reporting those situations to officials and coaches.

"He's always told nothing can be done about it," Horner said. "This time, a teammate heard it."

When Ty's team was playing a game against a Salmon Arm team on February 23, a member of the other team called him the N-word. When Ty's teammate heard the word, he alerted a game official.

B.C. Hockey said the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association is investigating the incident.

"It could result in disciplinary action. It could result in the player being directed to take some counselling or some educational courses around the topic," said B.C. Hockey CEO Barry Petrachenko.

"It makes me sad to hear that from the player's mother that this isn't the first time."

That said, Petrachenko said he's aware that racial slurs are used on the ice. He said it's not because of the culture of the game, but because those kinds of words are used in society in general.

Horner and Petrachenko are both viewing this situation as a call to action.

"We just want to bring to light that racism is alive and well, and people need to be educated and have conversations about it," Horner said.

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