Amateur hockey president resigns in wake of video showing racist taunts

Mar 18, 2019

The regional president of the New York State Amateur Hockey Association has resigned and apologized to the family of an Amherst teen hockey player who was subjected to racist taunts in a game in January.

David Braunstein was running an investigation of an incident in a Jan. 20 hockey game between Amherst and Cheektowaga teams caught on videotape. (Warning: Video contains explicit language.)

A member of the Amherst team expressed his displeasure with the on-ice incident to referees in the game, in which a teammate was subjected to racist taunts.
Credit YouTube

In the video, members of the Cheektowaga Warriors 18-and-under team are heard directing monkey sounds toward the 17-year-old Amherst player, who is black. He was also called "monkey."

Braunstein took over the probe into the game February 8. An assistant coach and two players from the Cheektowaga team were suspended but the family of the player had not been told until Braunstein informed the players's father, Darren Brown-Hall, on Monday.

Braunstein confirmed the facts and his resignation but didn't want to comment about what happened.

Brown-Hall says his son is holding up well, with support from his teammates.

"The entire Amherst hockey community has been very supportive, the way they have come together," he said. "This is the same hockey community that's he's been a part of for the last 10 years."

Brown-Hall, who is chief of staff to Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash, called the incident a teachable moment.

"Every day, we encounter teachable moments and this is truly a teachable moment, right? It's a teachable moment for being culturally responsive. It's a teachable moment for appreciating diversity," said Brown-Hall.

Brown-Hall says he has accepted Braunstein's apology about the long-delayed investigation.