The Boston Bruins have reacted to a barrage of racist tweets from some fans after P.K. Subban scored the winner in double-overtime last night to seal a 4-3 victory for the Canadiens in Game 1 of their second-round series.
"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," wrote Bruins president Cam Neely in a statement.
Boston's mayor Marty Walsh also weighed in on the tweets: "This is a disgrace. These racist comments are not reflective of Boston, and are not reflective of Bruins fans. I've said before that the best hockey in the world happens when the Bruins and Canadiens play each other, and there is no room for this kind of ignorance here."
Just days after the sports world was rocked by the controversy that saw the NBA suspend L.A. Clippers' owner Donald Sterling for life, a few Bruins fans resorted to overt racism in reacting to the goal, and the loss, with many using racial epithets to make their point.
"That stupid n***** doesn’t belong in hockey #whitesonly," wrote one about Subban.
"F*** PK Subban. F****** n*****. Wish he got sold," wrote another.
Many other Bruins fans, however, expressed their dismay at the racist tweets.
"N***** was trending in Boston because P.K. Subban scored…It’s a rare moment in my life to be ashamed to be a Bruins fan," wrote one.
Others pointed out that Subban's brother Malcolm is a goaltender in the Bruins' minor-league system, and that Jarome Iginla is one of the current team's stars.
The Bruins have the distinction of having iced the first black player in NHL history, Willie O'Ree, in 1958.