Bill Peters has a new job with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL, but former player Akim Aliu isn’t sure all of the lessons have been fully learned. Peters was fired from his post as the Calgary Flames bench boss back in 2019 for kicking and punching players. But the nastiness that Peters showed while coaching the IceHogs was revealed prior to the incident with the Flames. Peters resigned and wouldn’t coach again in the league. He took a job in the KHL a few months later.
A current NHL Head Coach reached out to me last week to try and broker an apology on behalf of Bill Peters. So there is no ambiguity, this was my response verbatim. pic.twitter.com/i468vQ4erp
— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) August 30, 2023
Bizarrely, Peters didn’t even reach out to Aliu personally to apologize for his past transgressions, which included using a racial slur as well as humiliation while coaching him with the IceHogs. Instead, a current NHL head coach reached out to Aliu on behalf of Peters to try and broker a conversation between the two.
Aliu had no interest in that. Thankful to the coach who reached out, the 34-year-old made it clear he had nothing more to say to Peters.
While the Western Hockey League released a statement, the whole exchange that Peters tried to orchestrate befuddles a bit.
True and genuine apologies start with remorse for previous actions.
Perhaps he wasn’t sure how to do so and asked the current NHL coach to try and mend fences.
But it still doesn’t all add up.
Onus on Peters To Show He’s Learned
In the words of Ted Lasso, it’s best to be curious and not judgmental. So the curiosity is here: In any of those past years, why did he wait to try and reach out until a job was on the horizon?
When facing the media following the announcement, Peters responded to a question regarding his lack of apology prior to sending a coach to approach Aliu.
“I haven’t been able to talk to Akim personally and I look forward to the day we’re able to do that” Peters answered. “In order to make a proper apology, ya know, you have to be educated enough to do that. So the work I’ve done through Shades of Humanity and also through Cornell Online, I’m more comfortable speaking in the DEI space.”
Peters also admitted he’s still working with a psychotherapist.
He may be contrite and he could certainly turn over a new leaf. Every human being has the opportunity to learn and grow.
Aliu even said as much.
“I am all about second chances,” Aliu wrote in the message. “But only if they are sincere.”
Now the onus is on Bill Peters to show he really means all that he’s been saying. Maybe then that conversation he seeks to have with Aliu could actually really happen.