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USA Hockey increases penalty for racial/derogatory slurs to match penalty

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Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Today, USA Hockey announced a new presidential directive that has increased the penalty for racial/derogatory slurs “of any kind” from a game misconduct to a match penalty.

The rule falls under Rule 601 (e. 3):

(e) A game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player or team official who is guilty of the following actions:

1. Persists in any course of conduct for which he has previously been assessed a misconduct penalty (player) or bench minor penalty assessed to the team (Team Official).

2. Uses an obscene gesture anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game.

3. Uses language that is offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game.

4. Interferes in any physical manner with any game official, including off-ice officials, in performing their duties.

5. A player who receives their second misconduct penalty (for any rule infraction) during the same game shall be assessed a game misconduct penalty in lieu of the second misconduct penalty.

Jim Smith, President of USA Hockey, said the following in the organization’s release:

“We continue to get reports of disturbing incidents of racial and other derogatory slurs, behavior which is reprehensible and has absolutely no place in our game, especially around our children. For reasons I cannot explain or understand, the current penalty in place does not seem to be enough of a deterrent to stop this type of conduct.”

Players who use racial/derogatory slurs will receive a five-minute major penalty and will be disqualified from the game. Furthermore, they will be suspended from any subsequent games or participation until a hearing has been conducted to review the incident.