Red Wings prospect needed police escort after racial slurs, death threat
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Detroit Red Wings prospect and Kitchener Rangers forward Givani Smith was the subject of racial slurs and a death threat, according to multiple media outlets.
Smith, 20, who is black, was suspended for Game 7 of the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference final series after making “an inappropriate gesture” toward the opposing team’s bench.
Smith was attacked on social media with racial slurs and insults after the Game 6 incident, according to Saturday’s Waterloo Region Record, and he also received a death threat, along with needing a police escort out the building.
“There were threats, physical threats after Game 6,” Kitchener general manager Mike McKenzie told The Record. “Before we went up the Soo there were racial things in his inbox on social media. It was pretty disgusting to see some of the stuff that he had to deal with.”
Social media ripped the OHL for their handling of the incident, along with the repeated incidents involving hockey and racism.
The incident wasn’t the first time Smith was the subject of abuse from fans.
Earlier this season, a fan gained access to the Rangers’ locker room with the intent of attacking Smith.
“We had an incident during the regular season where a fan somehow got access to our tunnel,” team general manager Mike McKenzie told the Record.
“It was a game where he (Smith) had been sent to the room early because he had a misconduct. The fan poked his head in and yelled a racial slur down the hall. I’m not going to repeat it but it wasn’t good.”
The Record also reported that Smith watched Game 7 from the press box with a security guard posted at the door.
Smith, a 2016 draft pick of the Red Wings is the younger brother of Dallas Stars forward Gemel Smith.