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Ex-NHL Player Akim Aliu Blows the Whistle on Racist Halloween Party Blackface Incident

Akim Aliu
Former Calgary Flames winger Akim Aliu has been a key whistleblower exposing racism in hockey. | Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The latest wave of racism and unprofessional conduct allegations to sweep through the NHL has cost several head coaches their jobs. Former Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters and Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery found themselves dismissed due to allegedly using racial slurs and conducting themselves in an unacceptable fashion.

Former Flames player Akim Aliu, who was one of the first whistleblowers that helped bring these allegations to light, is now speaking out about an incident that took place during his time with the minor league Colorado Eagles in which a staffer showed up to a Halloween party wearing blackface, claiming he was going as Aliu.

This incident comes several years after Peters was alleged to have used a racial slur and physically assaulted several players while he was Aliu's coach with the Rockford IceHogs.

Aliu, who was born in Nigeria, spoke at length about the difficulties he has had to overcome and how his comments have opened the floodgates for crackdowns on abusive coaches and the problematic culture they instill.

As horrifying as this story is, we need more of these tales brought into the public eye in order to continue purging discrimination from the sport. Day by day, hockey will be better for it.