Teenage hockey player says opposing team, spectators hurled slurs at him
'I didn't know how to react. At first, I wasn't sure if I should be angry or upset,' says Logan Prosper
A Whycocomagh, N.S., teen is considering quitting hockey after he says racial slurs were hurled at him during a recent home game.
Sixteen-year-old Logan Prosper is a forward for the Cape Breton West Islanders. He said the taunting started midway through the second period at their game in Chéticamp against the Northside Vikings Midget A team.
"A guy said, 'You look like a turd. All Natives look like turds. You shouldn't play hockey,' and he repeated it a couple of times," said Prosper.
Prosper said he told the referee what happened, but because the official didn't hear it himself, he said he couldn't do anything.
"I didn't know how to react. At first, I wasn't sure if I should be angry or upset," said Prosper.
During the second intermission, Prosper told his father, Phillip Prosper, what was happening. His father said he told him to beat them on the scoreboard rather than argue.
"You could see the anger in him, but he wasn't using it toward the other players," said his mother, Mary Prosper.
Phillip Prosper said he experienced racism in hockey when he played a number of years ago, but witnessing his son on the receiving end was heartbreaking.
When the teams came out for the third period, the Prospers said the racial slurs continued, this time from the opposing team's parents.
Logan Prosper said he could hear adults shout, "He's one of them, just let him be. He'll be kicked out soon, he shouldn't be playing hockey."
'Shook my head'
"I just looked at them and shook my head because I was discouraged by what they said about me," said Logan Prosper.
Mary Prosper said she chose to encourage her son and his teammates to finish the game. When it was over, she stood in the stands so her son could see that he wasn't alone. After that, she went out to her car.
"I cried. I cried because I seen him having to go through this at his favourite game. He loves hockey," said Mary Prosper.
After the game, Phillip Prosper said he spoke to coaches on both teams and they said they did not hear any racist comments.
Now, Logan Prosper is so discouraged by the incident that he said he is considering not playing hockey.
"It's almost 2020, this shouldn't be happening. I don't want to hear anything about racism in hockey ever again. That's what I want done about it," said Logan Prosper.
Hockey Nova Scotia statement
Phillip Prosper said he contacted Hockey Nova Scotia and hopes to see a zero-tolerance plan put in place to rid hockey of harassment and racism.
The Northside and District Minor Hockey Association said they are aware of the alleged incident and have turned the matter over to Hockey Nova Scotia.
In a statement, Hockey Nova Scotia said it takes allegations like this seriously and its risk management committee is investigating.
"We believe that the rink should be a welcoming place for all participants," it said. "Racism and harassment have no place in hockey, no place in sport, and no place in our society."