Indigenous hockey player returns to ice following alleged racist comments
COXHEATH, N.S. -- It’s been a whirlwind of a week for a young Mi’kmaq hockey player from Cape Breton who was the victim of alleged racial slurs during a game last Sunday.
On Saturday night, 16-year-old Logan Prosper of Waycobah First Nation returned to the ice for the first time since the incident.
Less than a week after speaking publicly about the alleged racist comments he faced, Prosper was just happy to be back on the ice with his Cape Breton West Islanders teammates, playing the game that he loves.
Players on both teams taped their sticks red in a gesture of support for Prosper and a rallying cry against racism in the sport.
“Everyone is really aware of racism and everyone has the red tape, and most of my teammates have red ties too, the same as me,” says Prosper.
“It’s wonderful to see, it’s going to be a lasting legacy that turned a negative last Sunday into a positive,” says Phillip Prosper, the teen's father.
Prosper says he was taunted by players from the Northside Vikings Midget A team during last Sunday’s game in Chéticamp.
Angry and upset, his father took to social media, and Hockey Nova Scotia promptly launched an investigation.
“We are happy that Hockey Nova Scotia did hear us and is actually taking actions to what happened, because no kid should feel that way,” adds his mother, Mary Prosper.
Support has been pouring in from around the globe for the teen.
Ex-NHLers have reached out through social media and some have even made phone calls, including former NHL player Cody McCormick, who is from Chippewa of the Thames First Nation in Ontario, and Akim Aliu, who recently went public with his own experiences of racism within professional hockey.
“It’s amazing the support I got, all the positive comments,” says Prosper. “I haven’t heard anything negative since last week during the game, everything I’ve heard is positive.”
Prosper has also done radio interviews for media outlets across the U.S. and says the support has reinforced to him that it was the right decision to go public with his experience.
“I’m so very proud, we couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone,” says Phillip Prosper. “If he was there and nobody responded to anything, it wouldn’t have gone as far as it did.
Hockey Nova Scotia says there is no timeline on when their investigation into the incident will be completed, but they reiterate that racism and harassment have no place in the game that many Canadians love.
The Prospers say they will continue to fight against racism in the sport and society, and hope that the lessons that came from Logan’s experience will continue to initiate a positive conversation about racism in hockey.