Bruins fans were frustrated over the team’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but more troubling were tweets on social media making racist comments about an opposing player.
The comments were directed at Canadiens player P.K. Subban.
The Boston Bruins and Mayor Marty Walsh condemned racist slurs about P.K. Subban that hit social media after the Montreal defenseman scored in the second overtime of their playoff game Thursday night.
Bruins President Cam Neely issued a statement Friday calling the tweets “racist” and “classless.” He said they came from an “ignorant group of individuals” who do not reflect the organization.
Walsh said in a statement that the tweets were “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.”
Subban, who is black, scored twice and the Canadiens won 4-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston coach Claude Julien and several Bruins also condemned the tweets.
“It’s just poor judgment, poor taste, and we don’t associate ourselves with people like that,” Julien said Friday, “and people who think that way are not what we call our fans. They may think they are, but we certainly don’t support that at all. It’s a shame that this is still going around in this day and age.”
He noted that one of the Bruins players is Jarome Iginla, who is black.
Subban’s brother, Malcolm, is a goalie with the Bruins’ minor league affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island.
“Let’s be realistic here about this,” Julien said about the tweets. “It’s something we don’t support.”
Left wing Milan Lucic, who plays on the same line as Iginla, said, “he’s been treated with nothing but respect in Boston since he’s been here.”
Iginla joined the Bruins as a free agent after last season and shared the team lead with Patrice Bergeron with 30 goals.
Begeron also criticized the tweets, saying, “there is no room for this in 2014.”
Subban’s play has hurt Boston over the years and he has long been unpopular there. He was booed virtually every time he touched the puck Thursday night.
The Bruins were hoping that fans get the message that these sorts of comments won’t be tolerated and the focus now is on winning Game 2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.