(Reuters) - Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been suspended one game for using a homophobic slur during a playoff game and fined $5,000 for an inappropriate gesture directed at on-ice officials, the NHL said on Wednesday.
After being assessed a penalty late in Tuesday’s crucial home loss to the St. Louis Blues, Shaw held up both his middle fingers as he headed to the penalty box and then was caught on camera using a homophobic slur.
Following the game Shaw said “emotions are high” and that he did not know what was said but on Wednesday the two-time Stanley Cup winner issued an apology.
“While Mr. Shaw was apologetic and remorseful for both the offensive comments and the inappropriate gesture directed at the on-ice officials, he must be held accountable for his actions,” NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said in a statement.
“The emotion of the moment cannot and will not be a mitigating factor for the conduct that is expected of an NHL player.”
Shaw will also be required to undergo sensitivity training, the NHL said.
Earlier on Wednesday the Blackhawks issued a statement to say they were disappointed in Shaw’s actions and that his comments do not reflect what they stand for as an organization.
The penalty to Shaw that triggered the outburst came with about two minutes to play in regulation with Chicago trailing 4-3.
The eventual loss left the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks down 3-1 in the best-of-seven first-round series. They face a do-or-die Game Five on Thursday in St. Louis.
“I am sincerely sorry for the insensitive remarks that I made last night while in the penalty box,” Shaw said in a statement. “When I got home and saw the video, it was evident that what I did was wrong, no matter the circumstances.
“I apologize to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine