Chicago Blackhawks ban four fans from games for racist taunt

The Chicago Blackhawks have banned four fans from attending games at the United Center after ejecting them from Saturday's game for making racist taunts toward Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

"Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks," the team said in a statement.

The fans chanted "basketball, basketball" at the 25-year-old Smith-Pelly, who is black, while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game. Smith-Pelly was visibly upset and at one point grabbed his stick and walked over to tap the glass with it. An off-ice official sitting next to Smith-Pelly notified building security of the fans chanting and arena officials quickly ejected them.

There are fewer than 30 black players currently on NHL rosters.

Both teams' head coaches and the league condemned the fans' behavior after the game, and Smith-Pelly addressed the incident on Sunday.

"It's disgusting," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing, over and over.

"It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression but we're still working toward it I guess, and we're going to keep working toward it."

18 PHOTOS
Stanley Cup Champions throughout NHL history
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Stanley Cup Champions throughout NHL history

Montreal Canadiens: 1916, 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1993

(Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs: 1918, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967

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New York Rangers: 1928, 1933, 1940, 1994

(Photo by Linda Cataffo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Boston Bruins: 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011

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Chicago Blackhawks: 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015

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Detroit Red Wings: 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008

(Photo by Albert Dickson/Sporting News via Getty Images)

Philadelphia Flyers: 1974, 1975

(Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

New York Islanders: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983

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Edmonton Oilers: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990

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Calgary Flames: 1989

(Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Penguins: 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New Jersey Devils: 1995, 2000, 2003

(Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche: 1996, 2001

(Photo by Glenn Cratty via Getty Images)

Dallas Stars: 1999

(Photo by Elsa Hasch /Allsport via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning: 2004

(Photo via REUTERS/Shaun Best GMH)

Los Angeles Kings: 2012, 2014

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Carolina Hurricanes: 2006

(Photo via REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Anaheim Ducks: 2007

(Photo via REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

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