Montreal teen banned from hockey program after being called racial slur, mother claims

Nadine Hart is bringing a hockey association and Lester B. Pearson's school board before the Human Rights Commission.  (CBC - photo credit)

Nadine Hart is bringing a hockey association and Lester B. Pearson’s school board before the Human Rights Commission. (CBC – photo credit)

After JC was allegedly racially abused and slapped in the face by a teammate, his mother takes a hockey association and Lester B. Pearson’s school board to the Human Rights Commission.

Nadine Hart says 13-year-old JC – whose name CBC agreed to withhold to protect his identity – was kicked out of his junior hockey team after fighting off a white teammate who repeatedly called him the N-word and beat him in December. 8th.

Hart says her son came home with a swollen face and cut mouth.

Though her son didn’t fight back, JC was fined for “misbehavior” while the other player was allowed to stay on the team, Hart says. She says neither John Rennie High School nor her partner, Pro Action Hockey, took her concerns seriously.

“It’s 2023 and I don’t think this should happen anymore and shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” she said.

“I want our case to be the beginning of the end of the racism that is preventing not just my children but all children of color from playing hockey and going to college in full dignity, safety and equality.”

Prior to the Dec. 8 incident, JC was repeatedly called racial slurs by his teammate in his former team’s Snapchat group chat, Hart says. CBC reviewed the messages, which contain multiple uses of the N-word.

“It makes me mad and angry because I know the story behind it [the N-word]’ said JC

Pro Action Hockey said in a statement that it took immediate action with John Rennie High School to address the event and “appropriate disciplinary action has been taken.”

“We take allegations of this nature very seriously as diversity, inclusion and equity are of the utmost importance to us at Pro Action Hockey,” it said.

“We will continue to work closely with the school to ensure all students enrolled in our program are able to train and play in a safe and positive environment.”

Hart says she reported the incident to the police but was hesitant to press charges because of the players’ ages. Montreal Police say they are aware of the situation and an investigation is ongoing.

Call for zero tolerance of racism

The Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) helps Hart navigate the Human Rights Commission.

She wants the school board to enact a zero-tolerance rule on racism and ban the use of the N-word in schools, executive director Fo Niemi said.

“People need to understand that using the N-word is, among other things, an attack on the psychological safety and dignity of a black child,” he said.

“Part of the right to education is the right to unprejudiced and racism-free education.”

Niemi would also like an update on the school board’s Anti-Black Racism Taskforce and the recommendations they made in 2021.

In a statement, the Lester B. Pearson school board said it regrets all acts of racism and discrimination and that it has refined existing policies and practices to address racially motivated incidents.

Although JC is no longer part of Pro Action Hockey, he still plays the sport in a new program. Hart says her son’s academic performance and general mood have improved since he’s been on a team where he feels valued.


Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button