Chris Hine covers the Chicago Blackhawks for the Chicago Tribune and did not mince words about Andrew Shaw's apparent use of a gay slur ("fucking faggot") late in Tuesday's playoff game against the St. Louis Blues.
As some of you may know, I'm a gay sportswriter -- who covers the #Blackhawks. I like Andrew Shaw and have a good relationship with him ...— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) April 20, 2016
But what he said tonight was inexcusable and is one of the reasons why gay athletes everywhere stay closeted and often live lives of torment— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) April 20, 2016
For the record, Shaw twice said he did not remember what he said after drawing a critical late-game penalty, but the video (minus audio) makes it clear it was a slur. I am not sure how he can weasel out of it, especially since viewers said they saw him mouth the same slur moments earlier after getting the penalty. All the NHL needs to do is hire a lip reader.
The NHL will investigate this and needs to suspends Shaw if it determines there was indeed a slur used. The You Can Play Project promotes an end to homophobia in sports and was started by Patrick Burke, now an NHL employee. Patrick's dad, Brian, is the president of the Calgary Flames, and YCP was started to honor Brendan Burke, a manager with the University of Miami hockey team before he died in a car crash.The Blackhawks have partnered with You Can Play in the past and the advocacy group tweeted: "We are aware of tonight's incident and will be reaching out to the NHL immediately to assist in an appropriate response."
There needs to be zero tolerance of this, or all the You Can Play videos the league's team have done will be for nothing.
Related: You can hear Hine discuss his decision to come out publicly on our podcast.