Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri was the driving force of the team’s 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Semifinals Monday night, netting a hat trick.
But behind the scenes, Kadri and his family have been receiving racist and hateful attacks from fans. Kadri’s wife, Ashley, shared a few of the messages they’ve received on social media, in which the devout Muslim was called a “Muslim son of a b****,” amongst other things.
Sports Illustrated’s Mike Stephens posted the messages on Twitter, which contain language that is threatening.
The NHLPA issued a statement Tuesday on the matter, condemning the “hateful and offensive comments directed toward Nazem Kadri and his family.”
The threats initially began after Game 3 of the series, in which Kadri collided with Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. Binnington suffered a knee injury as a result and was ruled out for the remainder of the series by head coach Craig Berube. No penalty was called on the play and Kadri received no supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
“Look at Kadri’s reputation,” Berube said of Kadri after Game 3. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”
On the ice in Game 4, Kadri, 31, was subject to multiple run-ins from Blues players and middle fingers from the St. Louis faithful. Blues forward David Perron was the culprit of a few of the hits and was fined $5,000 by the NHL for cross-checking Kadri near the benches after the play.
There was an increased police presence at both the Avalanche’s team hotel and at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis after local law enforcement was called in to investigate the threats made towards Kadri. Kadri said after the game that he didn’t receive any racist taunts from the crowd Monday night, but said the hateful messages he received fueled him.
He added that what was said in the messages wasn’t a reflection of the entire St. Louis fanbase.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with that a long time. That’s sad to say, but I’m getting good at putting in the rearview mirror. It’s a big deal. I try to act like it’s not. Just try to keep moving forward,” Kadri told TNT in a postgame interview. “I know those messages I got don’t reflect every single fan in St. Louis. But for those that hate, that one’s for them.”
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