NHL Player Ryan Getzlaf Fined $10,000 For Using Anti-Gay Slur In Game

As captain of the Anaheim Ducks, Getzlaf earns $9.25 million a year.

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was fined $10,000 by the NHL for repeatedly calling referee a “cocksucker” during a matchup against the Nashville Predators Thursday night.

With Getzlaf pulling in a $9.25 million salary (not to mention endorsements), Outsports points out it’s hardly a meaningful punishment—though it is the maximum allowed under a union agreement.

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 14:  Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks lines up for a face-off against Vernon Fiddler #83 of the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on May 14, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora RobinsonNHLI via Getty Images)
Debora RobinsonNHLI via Getty Images

In 2016, when the Chicago Blackhawks player Andrew Shaw was caught using a homophobic slur, he was suspended for one playoff game, a bigger statement in many people’s eyes. Even Fox Sports Pete Blackburn points to the league’s inconsistency.

Last week, Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended from two games after calling an Atlanta Braves pitcher a “faggot.”

Many articles didn’t even acknowledge the kind of remark Getzlaf made, further blunting the incident as a teachable moment.

In a statement, the NHL said Getzlaf violated a policy that “prohibits inappropriate and offensive remarks, and the use of obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures.”

Getzlaf is a nominee for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual “as a superior leader within their sport, and as a contributing member of society.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.