Colorado trainer wore 'blackface' and dressed up as 'Akim Aliu' at team party

The Colorado Avalanche have placed Tony Deynzer on administrative leave after the Wall Street Journal published a story, citing a team Halloween party in 2011, where Deynzer showed up wearing blackface as 'Akim Aliu'. The two were apart of the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL at the time.

Aliu was not impressed by the costume. He wasn't necessarily close to his teammates or trainer, as he had only been playing on the team for a few weeks.

A couple of days before the party, Aliu mentioned to the WSJ, that he was told to 'come a little bit later', he didn't think much of it at the time, until once he got there and grabbed a drink, that's when Tony Deynzer appeared from behind the corner.

Deynzer was in blackface, wearing an afro and a custom made jersey on with Aliu's number and nickname on it - "Dreamer". The pointing and laughing ensued.

People at the party forced a photo from there, and then laughed in Aliu's face the entire night,

Akim Aliu is telling his story, and shining a light on a culture that has been toxic for years. Some chirp him because they wonder why he waited so long to bring it forward, while others applaud, and don't care about the timing.

The timing is irrelevant, the 'problem' should be our only focus.  And moving forward for the NHL, it's the solution that matters most, and Akim Aliu is playing a huge part in creating one.


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