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Flyers' Simmonds the target of racism in Czech League game

TSN.ca Staff

10/29/2012 6:53:44 PM

While playing on the road versus Chomutov for his Liberec team in the Czech Extraliga, Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was the subject of racial chants coming from the home team's fans.

After engaging in a third period fight, Chomutov supporters chanted "opice" at Simmonds, which translates to "monkey" in English.

Chumotov condemned the actions following the game and later sent an apology letter to Simmonds:

Dear Mr. Simmonds,

We would like to express regret about chanting that sounded from part of audience at the end of the match between Pirates Chomutov and White Tigers Liberec. We damn this behaviour and do not identify with it. We do not consider as our fans people that participated in racist chanting. We do not agree with racism in any form. Please accept our honest apology for this behaviour.

The letter was signed management, players and partners of Pirates Chomutov.

This was not the first time the 24-year-old from Scarborough, ON has dealt with elements of racism during a game.

While playing in an exhibition game with the Flyers in London, ON prior to the 2011-12 season, a fan threw a banana peel on the ice while Simmonds was taking a shootout attempt.

Following the game, he told Frank Seravelli of the Philadelphia Daily News that he had faced that type of fan behavior throughout his career.

"When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like that. Over the past 23 years of my life, I've come to expect some things like that. But I'm older and more mature now, I kind of just let things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that."

Coming off a breakout 28-goal season and looking for a place to play during the NHL lockout, Simmonds signed in Germany with Crimmitschau and played nine games before leaving to play in the Czech Republic.

He has played three games with Liberec so far this season.