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Manitoba junior hockey player handed 18-game suspension for racist gesture

A Manitoba junior hockey player has been suspended 18 games and required to participate in anti-racism and cultural sensitivity training after a racist on-ice gesture, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) announced Thursday.

Klim Georgiev, 20, a defenceman for the Dauphin Kings, is accused of “conduct detrimental to the game of hockey” after an incident Feb. 19 in a game against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, the league said.

“The discriminatory taunting was a public display which consisted of a widely recognized racial gesture which was very hurtful to many persons who viewed it,” the MJHL said in a statement.

“The gesture was directed specifically to an Indigenous player while he was skating away well after the final buzzer of the game.

“Racial and discriminatory actions, gestures or behaviours, regardless of intent, will not be tolerated in the MJHL.”

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The league said Georgiev has apologized to the opposing player and the Wolverines team, and the Kings are working with an anti-racism consultant from Ebb and Flow First Nation as part of the MJHL’s ongoing anti-racism and cultural sensitivity training education program.

In a statement Thursday, the Kings said they accept the suspension.

“Although Klim and the Dauphin Kings have taken many steps towards the reconciliation process, we recognize that we still have many more steps to take,” the team said.

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