Wings an­nouncer apol­o­gizes for re­mark

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS -

PHIL­A­DEL­PHIA >> A pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer has apol­o­gized for a re­mark about a Na­tive Amer­i­can player dur­ing a lacrosse game that he and the team called “in­sen­si­tive,” with both team and league vow­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

Ge­or­gia Swarm for­ward Lyle Thomp­son said on so­cial me­dia that Phil­a­del­phia Wings pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer Shawny Hill said “Let’s snip the pony tail” dur­ing Satur­day night’s game at the Wells Fargo Cen­ter, The Phil­a­del­phia In­quirer re­ported.

Thomp­son, who is from the Onondaga Reser­va­tion in cen­tral New York, said fans be­gan to shout “scalp” him. “I know Philly takes pride in their ruth­less fans but I didn’t know it was like that lol .... now I know,” he said, adding that he hadn’t heard “stuff like this” since high school.

Swarm team­mate Bren­dan Bomberry, who is from the Six Na­tions reser­va­tion in Canada, said on so­cial me­dia that the game was over­shad­owed by the words, say­ing “‘Let’s snip the braid’ was dis­gust­ing and a re­al­ity for my an­ces­tors when they were forced into Chris­tian res­i­den­tial schools.”

Hill apol­o­gized on so­cial me­dia for “in­sen­si­tive” words he called “poorly cho­sen” and “not in­tended as racially mo­ti­vated.”

“My words do not re­flect my per­sonal be­liefs, but rep­re­sent a lack of knowl­edge on her­itage and his­tory,” he said, adding that he was reach­ing out to speak to Thomp­son and his brother, Miles, also on the team, “in hopes of pro­vid­ing a di­rect apol­ogy.”

The Na­tional Lacrosse League said in a state­ment that it and mem­ber clubs have a “zero tol­er­ance pol­icy for any deroga­tory or discriminatory state­ments.” The league said “nec­es­sary dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will be taken swiftly.”

The Phil­a­del­phia Wings said in a state­ment it was “deeply apolo­getic” for what it called “this in­ad­ver­tent yet of­fen­sive oc­cur­rence” and vowed “swift dis­ci­plinary and ed­u­ca­tional mea­sures” to pre­vent sim­i­lar episodes.

The Na­tional Lacrosse League named Thomp­son the most valu­able player in 2017 and in Au­gust hon­ored the for­mer rookie of the year and first se­lec­tion of the 2015 draft with its sports­man­ship award hon­or­ing “those with the great­est com­bi­na­tion of char­ac­ter and per­for­mance” in the league. In 2015, while an­nounc­ing the sign­ing of Thomp­son to a two-year deal, the team re­leased a Lyle Thomp­son Bob­ble­head that it said “also fea­tures a Bob­ble-Braid to show­case Thomp­son’s sig­na­ture pony­tail.”

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