Andrew Shaw was caught by television cameras during Game 4 between the Blackhawks and Blues saying a homophobic slur in the penalty box. On Wednesday, Shaw and the Blackhawks apologized for the incident, which became a source of embarrassment for the hockey world over the past 12 hours.
In addition to statements from the player and team, Shaw met with reporters Wednesday afternoon to apologize in person. "I have no excuses for anything. I'll never use that word again, that's for sure," Shaw said.
Here's the official statement Shaw released through the team:
"I am sincerely sorry for the insensitive remarks that I made last night while in the penalty box. 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."
The 24-year-old forward didn't apologize during his postgame interview Tuesday night, instead claiming that he was unsure what he said in the heat of the moment. While an immediate apology last night probably would've helped limit the backlash that he received from the situation, it's good to at least see that he isn't wasting any more time admitting fault and taking responsibility.
Shaw also went out of his way to apologize to Chicago Tribune beat writer Chris Hine, who is openly gay.
Shaw wanted to talk after his media session & he's sincere in his apology and in saying that's not the kind of guy he is. I appreciated that— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) April 20, 2016
He could've ducked the media and didn't have to talk to me afterward. It took a certain amount of guts to do that.— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) April 20, 2016
The Blackhawks, who recently partnered up with You Can Play, also released a statement saying they were "disappointed" in Shaw's actions.
"We are extremely disappointed in Andrew Shaw's actions last night. His comments do not reflect what we stand for as an organization. We are proud to have an inclusive and respectful environment, and to support various initiatives such as the You Can Play Project and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association. We will use this opportunity to further educate our players and organization moving forward, so that we all may learn from it."
It's unclear whether the team and the league have any other sort of response coming for this situation, such as a fine or suspension, which might add some weight to the apology. No matter how upset Shaw was last night, using slurs is simply unacceptable, especially in a professional work setting that involves being broadcast live on national television. Many expected Shaw to be suspended for his actions, not unlike how Rajon Rondo was suspended one game by the NBA for a similar incident in December.
An apology is a good start, though, and Shaw does seem genuinely contrite based on his comments. Let's hope both Shaw and the hockey community in general can grow from this.