Flames coach Peters probed over racial slur claim: NHL

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters is under investigation after being accused of using racial slurs against Nigerian-born player Akim Aliu a decade ago, the National Hockey League confirmed on Tuesday.

The NHL said in a statement Peters was being probed after Aliu said he was subjected to racist language during the 2009-2010 season while playing for American Hockey League (AHL) side Rockford IceHogs.

"The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable," the NHL said in a statement. "We will have no further comment until we have had an opportunity to look into the matter more thoroughly."

The Flames also confirmed they were investigating the allegations.

"We take these matters very seriously," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in a statement. "We want to complete a full and proper investigation before we provide any further comments on the matter."

Aliu was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007 and later spent time with the IceHogs, the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate where Peters was the head coach.

In social media posts on Monday, Aliu said Peters "dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn't like my choice of music."

Aliu, who moved to Canada at the age of seven, later said he was demoted after he "rebelled" against the use of the racist language towards him.

Aliu currently plays for Orlando in the East Coast Hockey League.

Aliu's tweet was in response to criticism of the management style of former Toronto coach Mike Babcock, who was sacked last week. Peters was Babcock's assistant at the Detroit Red Wings between 2011 and 2014.