LONDON, Ontario – The fan who threw a banana at a black Philadelphia Flyers player was fined $200 by a Canadian court, The London Free Press reported Monday.
Christopher Moorhouse, 26, pleaded guilty to trespassing, but the court accepted his defense that the action was not racially motivated and he avoided more serious hate crime charges.
The prosecutor told the judge the investigation revealed "absolutely no basis to support a racially motivated act."
Moorhouse admitted he threw a banana onto the ice as Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds skated toward the Detroit Red Wings goalie for a shootout attempt. The incident occurred Sept. 22 during an exhibition game between the NHL teams at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.
Moorhouse, who was not at the hearing, maintained he did not know that throwing a banana onto the ice is seen as an expression of racism.
"I can't think of a situation that got out of hand more than this," said Moorhouse's attorney, Faisal Joseph. "There is not one scintilla of evidence it was racially motivated."
Joseph said his client was extremely upset about being cast as a racist, and that he and his family received death threats in the aftermath of the incident.