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Report: alleged anti-Russian slur thrown at Battalion player

'The investigation is in the hands of the league'
2022 03 03 battalion wolves 4
Action during the Battalion and Sudbury Wolves game. Photo by Tom Martineau/BayToday.

A TSN report from Rick Westhead is stating that a "Russian player was allegedly targeted during Thursday's game with an anti-Russian slur by at least one Sudbury Wolves Player."

 Adam Dennis, GM of the North Bay Battalion, is not making any comment on the situation but did confirm the TSN report. 

"The investigation is in the hands of the league," said Dennis. 

Dan Milstein, a certified NHL player agent with Gold Star, also reacted to the news.

"Disturbing news… I confirm Rick Westhead’s report that my teenage Russian born client on OHL North Bay Battalion team was targeted with Anti-Russian slur at yesterday’s game," said Milstien via Twitter Friday. 

Adam Dennis addressed his concern for his eastern European players who play for the Battalion during Wednesday's media conference at Memorial Gardens.

The Troops have three Russian players in Alexander Lukin, Matvey Petrov, and Rodion Tatarenko, who is an affiliate player with the Powassan Voodoos.  

On top of that the Battalion has Michael Podolioukh, who is Ukranian. and Nikita Tarasevich, who is from Belarus.

See related: Battalion supports its eastern European players 

The Ontario Hockey league released a statement about the Russia-Ukraine crisis on Tuesday but the league likely did not expect to have to look into an alleged incident so soon. 

"The Ontario Hockey League condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, desiring a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict as quickly as possible," the OHL stated. 

"The League supports measures enacted by both the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and Hockey Canada to suspend Russia and Belarus from international competition as well as participation in national team events held in Canada.

"The OHL remains in communication with its member teams, monitoring the well-being of all players and especially those European players originating from countries directly impacted by the conflict. These young student-athletes have the full support of the Ontario Hockey League as they continue to represent their respective teams, regardless of their country of origin."

Josh Sweetland, director of communications with the OHL released a statement Friday afternoon. 

"The OHL has a strict discrimination, harassment and bullying policy, this includes discrimination based on country of origin. There is zero tolerance for violations of these policies," noted Sweetland. 

"It is the League’s intention to enforce this policy for any discrimination or harassment against Russian and Belarusian players. Further, last week the OHL advised all officials to be aware of any anti-Russian harassment and is working with the Canadian Mental Health Association through the Talk Today program to ensure supports are in place for Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian players.

"The cited matter from Thursday night’s game is presently under investigation."


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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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