The NHL suspended Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw one game on Wednesday for making a homophobic slur during a playoff game a day prior. He was also fined $5,000 for inappropriate gestures maybe to a referee.
Shaw will also be required to attend sensitivity training classes.
"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," NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said. "The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player."
Late in the third period of Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues, Shaw was caught by television cameras using a homophobic slur towards an opponent. He then repeated the slur in the penalty box, again caught live by television cameras. After the game, Shaw told reporters he had no recollection of saying it.
Not long afterwards, the You Can Play Project (which is partnered with the Blackhawks) announced they were addressing the situation with the NHL.
On Wednesday afternoon, Shaw and the Blackhawks released a joint statement, with Shaw offering a full apology for his words:
"I am sincerely sorry for the insensitive remarks that I made last night while in the penalty box. When I got home and saw the video, it was evident that what I did was wrong, no matter the circumstances. I apologize to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake."
The Blackhawks stated they "are extremely disappointed" with Shaw's actions and that they plan to "use this opportunity to further educate our players and organization moving forward."
Jonathan Toews said the Hawks can use what what happened as a moment to teach & educate the rest of the team on the impact of what Shaw said— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) April 20, 2016
Shaw also met with the media to further apologize:
Andrew Shaw: "I have no excuses for anything. I'll never use that word again, that's for sure." #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/u2yjRTDgS8— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) April 20, 2016
The fine will be paid into the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
(This story was updated.)