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Flames coach Bill Peters apologizes for using 'offensive language'

Last Updated Nov 28, 2019 at 11:44 am EDT

In this April 23, 2018, file photo, new Calgary Flames NHL hockey team head coach Bill Peters speaks to the media in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Bill Peters has apologized for using “offensive language” in a letter to the Calgary Flames organization.

In the letter addressed to general manager Brad Treliving, which was released to multiple news outlets Wednesday night, Peters called the incident isolated but accepted responsibility for what he said.

“The statement was made in a moment of frustration and does not reflect my personal values,” Peters said. “After the incident, I was rightfully challenged about my use of language, and I immediately returned to the dressing room to apologize to the team. I have regretted the incident since it happened, and I now also apologize to anyone negatively affected by my words.”

This is the first time Peters has addressed the incident since it surfaced earlier in this week.

In the letter Peters did not specifically apologize or mention Akim Aliu, who wrote that Peters directed racial slurs towards him when both were with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League in 2009-10.

“I meant no disrespect in what I said, and it was not directed at anyone in particular,” said Peters. “It was hurtful and demeaning. I am truly sorry.”

When contacted by Sportsnet to see if he wanted to respond to Peters’ apology, Aliu declined.

Peters said he appreciated and fully supported the thorough review of the situation currently being undertaken by the Flames.

“I accept the reality of my actions. I do believe that we must strive to act with integrity, and to take accountability for what we say and do.”

Treliving confirmed to reporters after Wednesday’s game that he had received the letter from Peters.

“We want to make sure we are doing a thorough job and looking under every stone, rock, and doing all the things that need to be done. So the letter tonight is part of this that we will obviously review,” he said. “And I’m hopeful that we will have an update for you tomorrow.”

Peters remained employed by the Flames as of Wednesday night.

The Flames attempted to keep things tight to the vest as they continued their investigation Wednesday, but one of Peters’ former assistants added to the intense scrutiny.

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, who spent four seasons behind Carolina’s bench with Peters, confirmed his boss confronted players in a physical manner.

“It for sure happened, the two issues that are in question,” Brind’Amour told reporters in New York before his team’s game against the Rangers.

Another former player has alleged Peters kicked him and punched a teammate when they were all with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Peters did not address the two physical altercations that allegedly occurred in Carolina in 2015-16 in his apology.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report