The NHL today suspended Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks for one game and fined him $5,000 for using a gay slur during Game 4 of the series against the St. Louis Blues. Shaw will also be required to undergo sensitivity training.

“While Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”

The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Shaw yelled “faggot” after receiving a penalty and initially said he didn’t remember what he said. He apologized for the slur today. He will miss Thursday’s Game 5 against the Blues, a series that the Blackhawks are trailing, 3-1.

The suspension is a great move by the NHL, which has partnered with the You Can Play Play Project to make the sport a safe environment for gay players. Having a player sit out a playoff game does send a message, since these games what are they live for.

In lieu of sensitivity training, the NHL should have Shaw spend an afternoon with Chris Hine, the openly gay Blackhawks beat writer for the Chicago Tribune. Hine said last night that the slur "is one of the reasons why gay athletes everywhere stay closeted and often live lives of torment." Shaw will learn a lot from Hine about what it means to be gay in sports. They are about the same age and share the same love of the sport, so speak the same language. It could be that "teachable moment" we always hear about.