Flames address allegations of racism against coach Bill Peters
CALGARY — Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving responded Monday to allegations by former Flame Akim Aliu of racist comments made by head coach Bill Peters over a decade ago.
Aliu, who played seven games for the Flames in 2012 and 2013, tweeted his allegations Monday night. While he didn't mention Peters by name, he indicated that's who he was talking about when he tweeted the following: 'Not very surprising the things we're learning about (former Leaf coach) Babcock. Apple doesn't fall far from the Tree, same sort of deal with his protege in YYC. Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn't like my choice of music.'
He played 48 games under Peters with the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs, and 13 more with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye.
The IceHogs are the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted Aliu 56th overall in 2007 out of the Ontario Hockey League.
At the time of the alleged incident, John McDonough was president of the Blackhawks while Stan Bowman was general manager.
Aliu added on social media: "First one to ...admit I rebelled against him. Wouldn't you? And instead of remedying the situation, he wrote a letter to John McDonough and Stan Bowman to have me sent down to the ECHL. 20 year old on pace for 20 goals in his first pro year with zero PP/PK time was off to a great start in his ...Pro career."
Aliu has played seven career games in the NHL, all with the Flames between 2011 and 2013.
Treliving said in a statement issued by the Flames, "through social media, we became aware of this issue during the game this evening. We take these matters very seriously. We want to complete a full and proper investigation before we provide any further comments on the matter."
The NHL issued a statement Tuesday morning.
"The behaviour that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable," it read. "We will have no further comment until we have had an opportunity to look into the matter more thoroughly."
Another player, Sean McMorrow, tweeted Tuesday that Peters was the "Worst human being ever to coach me."
"Treated me terrible on a AHL team (IceHogs) where I won a League Award for Community Service," he wrote in part, adding the hashtag, #badguy.
McMorrow was with the IceHogs for the 2008-09 season and played one game in the NHL, with the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002-03 season. He has been with the Jonquiere Marquis in the LNAH since 2014-15.
With files from The Canadian Press