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Youth hockey players to visit Museum of Tolerance after making anti-Semitic remarks

FILE - This Oct. 30, 2017, file photo shows the rink of the Gangneung Hockey Center at Gangneung Oly
Players and coaches on the L.A. Jr. Kings were suspended by the team recently after video emerged showing players reportedly making anti-Semitic comments.
(Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press)

The L.A. Jr. Kings youth hockey players who were identified as having performed a Nazi salute or having made anti-Semitic remarks in a video posted to social media last month must undergo eight hours of social media training, visit the Museum of Tolerance, perform eight hours of community service through the museum, and meet with a rabbi, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The incident was captured on video on March 9 during a supervised dinner held in a Las Vegas hotel suite for members of the Jr. Kings under-14 bantam AAA team in between its games at the Pacific District tournament. An investigation conducted by the California Amateur Hockey Assn. determined that not all of the 15 players who competed in the tournament participated in the incident. In addition, three players and two coaches were not in Las Vegas with the team.

The video was posted on Snapchat the night before the team was to face the Jr. Ducks for a trip to the national championships. Players depicted in the video were allowed to compete while a preliminary investigation began. The Jr. Kings lost their final game to the Jr. Ducks.

After the incident, the L.A. Jr. Kings organization suspended the 15 players and three coaches pending the investigation by CAHA, which oversees the operation and administration of youth and adult hockey teams and leagues in the state. CAHA works in concert with USA Hockey, the sport’s national governing body.

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The Jr. Kings under-14 AAA bantam team was on probation at the time of the incident for a prior violation of SafeSport regulations involving the use of social media. That violation, which occurred several months earlier, had no racial or anti-Semitic elements, a person with knowledge of that incident said.

Steve Yovetich, president of L.A. Jr. Kings hockey, said he could not comment on the investigation or identify the players who were sanctioned. A statement on the Jr. Kings’ organization website states in part, “The conduct at issue involves minor children aged 14 and under, which occurred in a private establishment. Therefore, in adherence to applicable laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of minors, the results of any investigation conducted by CAHA and USA Hockey will remain private. No names will be disclosed and no additional information released by the LAJK.”

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The statement also said the organization “regrets the events of March 9th and fully cooperated with the investigation conducted by the appropriate personnel at CAHA and USA Hockey, pursuant to the applicable protocols in place under the ‘SafeSport’ program.…

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“As an organization the LAJK condemns all conduct that includes hateful speech, threats, bullying, hazing, harassment, intolerance of races, religions or creeds and other types of abuse or misconduct, and we are very sorry to have any members of our organization involved in any conduct that causes harm to others. The LAJK has and will always strive to promote the aspects of USA Hockey’s SafeSport program and will continue to welcome, support and develop young people to be leaders; regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or background.”

The Jr. Kings operate out of the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, which is the Kings’ practice facility. The Jr. Kings are allowed to wear the NHL Kings’ colors and logo and have received coaching from former Kings players but they are not directly affiliated with the Kings.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

@helenenothelen


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