Edwin Hedberg (via KHL/YouTube)
The KHL is investigating a racist incident that occurred when two bananas were thrown at Zagreb winger Edwin Hedberg following a Wednesday game in Moscow. Post-game, Hedberg said incidents of this kind “shouldn’t happen but unfortunately they do.”
The KHL is investigating an incident that occurred Wednesday when Edwin Hedberg, who plays for Croatian club Medvescak Zagreb, had bananas thrown at him by someone attending the game following his Zagreb’s 4-1 victory over Spartak Moscow.
“The league considers any actions of this kind inadmissible,” the league said, via The Associated Press. “Upon clarifying all of this incident’s details, KHL will take respective decisions in accordance with the league’s regulations.”
What exactly the league will do when the league discovers all the details of the incident is uncertain, but the Valeri Kamensky, former Colorado Avalanche winger and current vice-president of Spartak, had his own ideas.
“Incidents like this aren’t usual in hockey, so they need to be stopped immediately and in a serious way,” Kamensky told R-Sport. “We need to find out who did it and ban him from coming to hockey games.”
Hedberg, 21, was born in Columbia, but moved to Sweden in his early childhood where he picked up hockey. He played his junior hockey in Sweden, including four seasons for MODO’s junior team, and played at several international competitions for the Swedish club. He’s in his second season with Zagreb this year and has notched five goals and 17 points. Last season, he was named the KHL’s Rookie of the Week on Feb. 22.
“I don’t know what to say,” Hedberg said post-game. “Things like this shouldn’t happen but unfortunately they do. It’s my second KHL season but I’ve encountered this for the first time.”
The KHL isn’t alone in having to deal with racial incidents like this. In 2002, then-Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Kevin Weekes had a banana tossed at him during a post-season game against in Montreal against the Canadiens. Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds also had a banana thrown at him during a pre-season game in London, Ont., before the 2011-12 season.
UPDATE: Per Igor Eronko, the KHL has fined Spartak Moscow 700,000 Russian rubles, which is equal to roughly $9,200 USD. The league has both photos and videos of the fan responsible for throwing the bananas.
A roughly translated statement from the league reads as follows: "The KHL has decided to impose on the HC Spartak fine for the behavior of fans at a match against HC Medvescak 13 January 2016 (Appendix 6 of the Technical Regulations KHL). Also, in accordance with claim 33 of Article 31 of the Disciplinary Regulations of the KHL HC, Spartak additionally fined for fans throwing foreign objects on the ice. The total amount of the fine 700,000 (seven hundred thousand)."