Calgary Flames Coach Bill Peters Resigns Following Revelation of Racist Comments

Former player Akim Aliu revealed the incident in an interview and on social media

Bill Peters
Former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters earlier this year.
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
By Tobias Carroll / December 1, 2019 6:13 am

When this week began, former Calgary Flames player Akim Aliu spoke out in an interview about his time playing minor league hockey, and about one incident in particular. During the 2009-2010 season, Aliu played for the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. His coach was Bill Peters; according to Aliu and several of his former teammates, Peters repeatedly directed racist language at Aliu. 

When this week began, Bill Peters was the coach of the Calgary Flames. That’s no longer the case. Peters resigned from the team on Friday, according to SB Nation. 

Peters released a statement apologizing for his comments. However, he did not address another controversy in which he’s become enveloped: during Peters’s time as the coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, he physically abused defenseman Michal Jordan. The Hurricanes’ current coach, Rod Brind’Amour, confirmed Jordan’s account. 

Peters’s comments to Aliu may have repercussions beyond the events of this week. At Sports Illustrated, Michael McCann has a rundown of the legal implications of Peters’s actions and the ways in which his apology falls short — including the fact that he has yet to apologize to Aliu. 

As for Aliu, he’s working to raise awareness of institutional racism within the NHL. He’ll be meeting with the league in the near future, and he’s also being represented by the law firm Geragos & Geragos — perhaps best known for their work with Colin Kaepernick. 

Peters’s resignation seems less like an ending and more like the beginning of something which might change the culture of the league — or at the very least heighten awareness of certain issues within it. 

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