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Thunderbirds remove two players from roster over ‘racial incident’

In shocking and sad news, the Seattle Thunderbirds announced Thursday that two players had been removed from their roster due to an incident described as “racial.”

The Thunderbirds statement indicated that the incident took place in the weeks leading up to last Friday’s start of the Western Hockey League season and was aimed at a third player in the team’s locker room. After a team investigation, the Thunderbirds took a “zero-tolerance” stance and decided to remove the two players from their roster.

Seattle did not name the players involved in the statement but did indicate the two will “continue their education and personal growth in this area. We will use this incident to further emphasize that comments of this nature will not be tolerated, and further emphasis will be placed on educational programming in this area.” The WHL conducts educational programs regarding hazing, abuse, harassment, bullying and the importance of tolerance to its member teams. The Thunderbirds players have all completed this program.

Racism and abuse have become recurring topics, and concern, in the general hockey world, and this incident appears to be proof that there is still work and educating to be done.

After the statement’s release, the Thunderbirds would not comment further on the story and media availability for the day was canceled.

Seattle is preparing for three games over the weekend beginning Friday night in Spokane.