Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters has resigned in wake of allegations of racism made by former player Akim Aliu, who accused Peters of racist behaviour a decade ago.
The Calgary Flames hosted a press conference this morning with GM Brad Treliving, who confirmed Peters’ resignation this morning.
“This morning I received a letter of resignation from Bill Peters, which I accepted. Effective immediately, Bill Peters is no longer a member of the Calgary Flames organization,” he said. Geoff Ward will act as the team’s interim head coach.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) November 29, 2019
Peters’ resignation comes after Aliu took to social media earlier this week and claimed that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times” towards him 10 years ago.
Aliu, who was 20-years-old at the time, says Peters did so because he didn’t like his choice of music.
The incident appears to have occurred when the pair were together with the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford during the 2009-10 season.
On Wednesday evening, Peters issued a statement apologizing in an open letter to GM Brad Treliving as well as the entire Calgary Flames organization.
He apologized for using “offensive language,” saying it was an “isolated and immediately regrettable incident” and that he takes responsibility for what he said.
A statement from Bill Peters, in the form of a letter to CGY GM Brad Treliving:: pic.twitter.com/YouP6ZABrm
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 28, 2019
Peters said that he “immediately returned to the dressing room to apologize to the team” at the time and has regretted it since it happened. He added that he “meant no disrespect” in what he said, but acknowledged that it was “hurtful and demeaning.”
Aliu responded to the letter on Thursday.
“I have read the statement of Bill Peters which I found to be misleading, insincere, and concerning,” Aliu said in a tweet.
“I have accepted an invitation from the NHL to meet and discuss this situation. Out of respect for that process, I will not respond publicly to the statement or discuss the racism and discrimination that I have endured until after my meeting.”
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 29, 2019
In light of Peters’ resignation, the NHL also released a statement, stating that the “league has been in regular communication with Calgary Flames management and [their] review of this serious matter is ongoing.”
“There are meetings scheduled with relevant individuals — including Akim Aliu — in the coming days. We will have no further comment at this time.”
With files from Rob Williams.
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