Montreal coach Michel Therrien says no one deserves to be treated the way defenceman P.K. Subban was after his winning goal in Game 1 of the Canadiens’ playoff series against Boston.
Subban, who is black, was the target of racist comments on social media.
“I’m shocked,” Therrien told reporters Friday. “Honestly I’m shocked to hear those type of comments.”
The Bruins issued a statement earlier Friday denouncing those who racially abused Subban after his decisive goal in the double-overtime win on Thursday night.
“The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization,” team president Cam Neely said the statement.
Subban’s younger brother Malcolm, a goalie, was drafted by the Bruins.
P.K. Subban was not made available by the Canadiens, who had a gym session instead of a practice.
Montreal brought out four players, all of whom were asked about the racism.
“I just think it’s unacceptable,” said defenceman Mike Weaver. “It’s just classless.”
Forward David Desharnais echoed his coach.
“Nobody deserves to be treated like that. It has nothing to do with sports or anything,” he said.
Weaver, like the other Habs players who met the media, blamed the ugliness on “a few individuals.”
Many comments with racist and derogatory terms were posted on Twitter and other social media websites after the victory. The 24-year-old Subban scored twice as Montreal took the lead in the best-of-seven second-round series.
Forward Brendan Gallagher said Subban was professional in handling the abuse.
“He understands the best way to handle it is just ignore it,” he said. “And understand that their opinions don’t really mean anything.”
It wasn’t the only fan misbehaviour on the night.
Some in the building reacted to the overtime loss by throwing drinks and garbage at the Canadiens as they left the ice.
Therrien, who is one of the first off the bench, said he had not noticed.
Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre called the remarks “unfortunate”, saying he would not defend the undefendable.
“We will answer back with the goals that we score,” Coderre told reporters Friday at Montreal city hall.
The mayor also a few words for Boston fans, saying there are some who will try to destabilize the Habs.
“They will try with all kinds of insults, (both) acceptable and unacceptable, but we won’t fall into their trap,” Coderre said.
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