Montreal

Quebec semi-pro hockey league beefs up security, stresses zero tolerance after racist incident

The Quebec semi-pro hockey league whose fans were involved in a racist incident over the weekend says it's making changes to stamp out racism on the ice and in the stands.

'We condemn any racist, sexist or homophobic behaviour or comments,' LNAH president says

Jonathan-Ismael Diaby was the target of racist taunts during an LNAH game over the weekend. The league says it's taking steps to prevent such incidents in future. (Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey)

The Quebec semi-pro hockey league whose fans were involved in a racist incident over the weekend says it's making changes to stamp out racism on the ice and in the stands.

Jonathan Diaby, a player for the Marquis de Jonquière, a team in the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH), said he and his family members were called the N-word and compared to baboons during a game last Saturday.

Diaby said security guards asked his parents and girlfriend to change seats so people "could have a quiet game" rather than ejecting those making racist taunts.

The incident was widely condemned, including by Quebec Premier François Legault.

In a statement, the LNAH said Thursday it would introduce the following measures:

  • A reminder message about the LNAH's zero tolerance for discriminatory behaviour or comments at the beginning of each game.
  • Increased security in arenas and the immediate expulsion of offenders.
  • A directive to officials to stop a game until any person who violates the rules regarding discrimination is removed from the premises.

Jean-François Laplante, the league's president, also once again apologized to Diaby.

"We condemn any racist, sexist or homophobic behaviour or comments towards a player, coach or official and will not tolerate them," said Laplante.

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