Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters has apologised for using “offensive language” towards a Nigerian-born player in the minor leagues a decade ago, according to a letter obtained by Canadian network TSN.
The apology came in a letter to the general manager of the Flames, who along with the National Hockey League are investigating whether Peters used a racial slur towards Akim Aliu.
Aliu alleges on Twitter that 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.”
The alleged incident happened while Peters was Aliu’s coach at the Rockford, Illinois, affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.
TSN posted on its website on Wednesday what it said was a copy of Peters’ letter to Calgary general manager Brad Treliving.
“Please accept this as a sincere apology to you, and the entire Calgary Flames organisation, for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago,” the letter says.
“I know that my comments have been the source of both anger and disappointment, and I understand why.
“Although it was an isolated and immediately regrettable incident, I take responsibility for what I said.”
Peters also said he had quickly apologized to the team and that there had been no excuse for using offensive language.
The Flames did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters on the authenticity of the letter published by TSN.
However, the team posted a statement on their website on Tuesday, after allegations of Peters’ language were first made, saying they would have no further comment on the matter until their investigation was complete.