N.S. teen hockey player angry after probe finds taunts not racial

The Cape Breton teen who made allegations of racism in minor hockey says he is angry at the results of a provincial investigation.

Sixteen-year-old Logan Prosper of Whycocomagh, N.S., said he was racially taunted during a game in December, when he and the Cape Breton West Islanders were playing the Northside Vikings Midget A team.

Hockey Nova Scotia investigated and said in a statement this week that an insulting remark was made, but it was not racial.

Prosper said that does not make any sense.

“I don’t even know what’s racial anymore,” the Mi’kmaw teen told CBC’s Information Morning Cape Breton.

“I don’t understand how they can decide which is racial or not, not only to me, but to anybody. It can’t just be their decision.”

Logan’s father, Phillip Prosper, said he and his son have no doubt about the intent of the remarks and that racial taunts continued on and off the ice after the incident. (CBC)

Prosper said he was told by more than one player that he looked “like a turd” and that “all Natives look like turds.”

Prosper’s father, Phillip, said one of the investigators told him 56 witnesses were interviewed and it was determined who had made a remark to his son.

“He said, ‘Oh, in the course of the investigation, we found who said it, but he didn’t mean it racially,'” Prosper said. “So I was kind of taken aback by it.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘Well, you kind of did find that what my son, what Logan said, kind of happened.'”

Prosper said he and his son have no doubt about the intent of the remarks and said racial taunts continued on and off the ice.

“The fact that Hockey Nova Scotia and the investigators are trying to determine and preach to us what is racial and what isn’t, that day, that comment clearly was racial,” he said.

After the Prospers made the issue public, a movement started to have players use red tape on their sticks to raise awareness of racism in the sport. It was taken up by teams and players across Canada and into the United States and Europe.

Logan Prosper shows off his hockey stick, bearing red tape as part of an anti-racism campaign. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

Phillip Prosper said that was a positive outcome, but he said after the local investigation found no racism, some people on social media started calling the Prospers liars.

He said that is taking a positive and “just turning everything back into such a negative thing.”

Officials from the Northside minor hockey association and Hockey Nova Scotia declined to comment.

But in its statement, Hockey Nova Scotia acknowledged the problem is widespread and said reports of verbal abuse are on the rise.

“We know that racism exists in our society and that our rinks are not exempt,” the provincial body said. “We encourage all of our members who experience racism to report it. It has no place in our game.”


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