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Soldotna suspends hockey captain for racist Twitter remarks

  • Author: Stephan Wiebe
  • Updated: January 21, 2017
  • Published January 21, 2017

A senior captain for the Soldotna Stars high school hockey team was suspended from the team this weekend after he posted at least two racist, hate-filled tweets on social media.

One of the posts contained disparaging remarks toward Alaska Natives and gays.

Soldotna High and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are addressing the incident, according to a prepared statement from Soldotna principal Tony Graham.

"Hate filled, racist, and disparaging remarks run counter to the mission of the KPBSD, our schools, and our athletic programs, and will not be tolerated," Graham said. "… Conversations about the appropriate use of social media will continue with our students and athletes."

Graham declined to say if the student has been suspended from school, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Soldotna hockey coach Derek Urban said his initial reaction to the posts was disappointment, "because the player involved is actually a pretty good kid."

The player did not play in Friday or Saturday games in Anchorage. One of his tweets was dated Thursday and a second one on was posted early Friday morning. His twitter account was made private at some point Friday or Saturday.

"Obviously, I want him to learn from his mistake," Urban said. "He obviously understands what he did was extremely insensitive. It's an unfortunate incident."

Urban said the player has addressed his teammates. Soldotna players were not made available for comment after Saturday's game at Ben Boeke Arena.

"They understand it's not a joking matter and how insensitive it was," Urban said.

The player is suspended from the team pending review from the school district, he said.

"I would say that he's gotta have a little diversity education (in order to return to the team), and obviously he won't be a captain," Urban said. "We'll go from there."

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