Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who is playing in the top Czech league during the NHL lockout, was the recipient of another racist endeavor after the Czech Republic's ice hockey fans aimed racist chants in Simmonds direction. In a statement released to the public on Tuesday, the federation said that the Chomutov Pirates were fined 30,000 koruna (equivalent to $1,554) by its disciplinary committee for the chants directed toward Simmonds, who is currently playing for the Liberec White Tigers during the NHL lockout. The penalty was lower than it could have been because of the way the team reacted to the situation. The chant "opice," which is akin to calling someone "monkey," was uttered during a game this past Sunday.
Chomutov has apologized to Simmonds, and the club said it would do everything it can to prevent any future abuse. In the aftermath of the chants, both teams released statements condemning such racist actions by some fans in attendance. Via Chomutov's website, the team issued an apology, writing, "We are disgusted by the behavior of a group of spectators who greatly damaged the reputation of the club. We would like to deeply apologize to the players and Mr. Simmonds." Chomutov marketing director David Dinda continued, saying, "It was embarrassing, pathetic and small. I ask these people to not attend Chomutov hockey games. In fans like them we are not interested in. We'll do our best to find people who are the originators of this act and prevent them entry to the stadium."
In addition to the apology featured on their website, the Chomutov Pirates also issued a handwritten apology directly to Simmonds, and quelled the situation over with his people. Simmonds, no stranger to dealing with racism in hockey, found himself in a precarious situation during a preseason game in London, Ontario, when a fan tossed a banana peel onto the ice as he was skating in on a shootout attempt. The levelheaded Simmonds responded to the racial gesture telling the Philadelphia Daily News, "When you're a Black man playing in a predominantly White man's sport, you've got 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."