Update, 12:55 p.m.: The NHL has announced that Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly has been cleared of accusations that he directed a homophobic slur against an official in Monday night’s game. Here’s the statement from Colin Campbell:
Our original post, which ran under the headline “NHL Investigating Anti-Gay Slur In Maple Leafs Game,” is below.
The NHL has announced it is looking into the apparent use of a homophobic slur by a player in Monday’s Maple Leafs–Lightning game in Toronto, and the Leafs are cooperating.
In the second period of Tampa’s 6-2 win, an ice-level microphone on the Sportsnet broadcast picked up the shouted slur:
It wasn’t immediately clear who was speaking or who it was directed toward, but the commentators did note immediately after that Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly was upset about a no-call. In the video, Rielly is facing a referee when you hear the slur.
The league quickly put out a statement, followed soon by one from the Leafs’ GM:
There’s precedent for the league’s investigation and potential discipline, but it’s not especially consistent. In 2016, Blackhawks winger Andrew Shaw was suspended for one game and fined $5,000 for calling an official a “fucking faggot.” The following year, Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf was fined $10,000 but not suspended—a decision the league was heavily criticized for—after he called an official a “cocksucker.”