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Former teammate sues Ducks for anti-Semitism

Hockey player Jason Bailey says Anaheim Ducks minor-league affiliate coaches made anti-Semitic remarks and denied him ice time because he's Jewish.

January 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A hockey player sues the Anaheim Ducks alleging anti-Semitism. He says minor-league affiliate coaches made anti-Semitic remarks and denied him ice time because he's Jewish.

In hockey it's usually the puck that's slung across the ice. But one professional player claims he got a barrage of anti-Semitic slurs slung at him by his coaches when he was under contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

"He was working in an environment where the coaches were anti-Semitic, and he was subjected to a barrage of anti-Semitic comments, not given ice time because of his faith," said attorney Keith Fink.

Jason Bailey, who now plays for the Ottawa Senators, was assigned to play with the Bakersfield Condors in 2008 under his contract with the Ducks.

There, Bailey says coaches Martin Raymond and Mark Pederson harassed him because he was Jewish.

In his complaint Bailey says the coaches told him Jews "only care about money," and referring to a Facebook request, one of the coaches made the remark, "I got a friend request from a dirty Jew."

The complaint also alleges the coaches told Bailey they didn't know if they could trust him with money because he was Jewish.

"Then he asked for something to be done, coaches ignored him, Mr. McNabb, the higher up, not only ignored him, but they found his complaint to be unbelievable," said Fink.

Fink says later, Bailey was told the coaches would be fired. But that never happened.

"They were slapped on the wrist at best, they were given a week and two-week suspension and they were forced to give an apology letter," said Fink.

One of those apology letters to Bailey, from Coach Martin Raymond, reads in part: "It was not my intent to offend you. The intent was to have a jovial moment."

Hockey fans are surprised and disappointed by these accusations.

"It's hard to believe there's actual discrimination as far as ethnic and racial background going on in the NHL, just seeing how diverse the league is with other players," said Roseville resident and hockey fan Paul Lauden.

The Anaheim Ducks organization was reached late Wednesday and declined to comment on this lawsuit.