The NHL is investigating formerĀ Florida Panthers general manager and president of hockey operations Dale Tallon for allegedly using racial slurs while with the team. The league confirmed to ESPN they were looking into the anonymous claim on Friday. Florida Hockey Now reported that Tallon is denying all claims.

Florida Hockey Now, which first reported the incident, says 69-year-old Tallon has been accused of using “racially-charged” language while the team was in the postseason bubble in Toronto. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the investigation to ESPN, but only gave the detail that the alleged comment involved words that were racially charged.

It is not yet known what Daly is accused of saying, but it is related to something he said while with the team during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. According to reports, the accusations were recently brought to the league.

Florida Hockey Now says Tallon spoke with them, denying the accusations.

“I am not racist by any means. I have never said anything of the sort. I am all for peace, am all for this alliance and what everyone is trying to do right now,” told FHN.

Tallon commented that people are saying his comments were made after Matt Dumba’s speech. Dumba is a a Black player who has been outspoken about racial injustice and a founder of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

When asked if he said anything racially-charged, he said, “I don’t recall it. I don’t remember it. I don’t ever use the word. They said I said something after Dumba’s speech and I don’t remember even seeing Dumba’s speech.”

The former Panthers’ GM added, “I didn’t know Dumba was Black; I have only ever seen him as a hockey player. I did not know he was of color. That’s all I can say. I need to find out what is going on.”

He maintained the confusion saying, “This is not me. I don’t understand this, I don’t ever do these kinds of things. I don’t know what happened. I am kind of puzzled by all of this … I am not sure what this is all about right now.”

Tallon and the Panthers parted ways after the team lost their 2020 postseason series to the New York Islanders. His contract with the team ended on July 1 and the team did not renew his deal. He was let go for reasons outside of this current investigation. Tallon was with the Panthers for 10 years, taking control of the team in 2010. Before Florida, Tallon was the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.

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