Former NHL player Akim Aliu, who was at the centre of a controversial situation with former Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters, has revealed some shocking information on former teammate and NHL player Steve Downie.
In an interview with the Players’ Tribune, Aliu, who is a black hockey player, revealed how he was abused and mistreated by Downie, who played in the league for nine seasons.
Aliu says before he got to the NHL, Downie terrorized him while both players were members of the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL.
“First couple of practices he put Tiger Balm in my jock,” Aliu says … “Then he took my gear outside and threw it on the roof.”
“And then he began to belittle me in front of my teammates, the coaches, whoever would listen to him. He’d make fun of my clothes, the way I spoke.”
“He was two years older than me and a rising star, and he wielded his power over me like I was nothing — like I was subhuman.”
Aliu also says Downie and other teammates tried to strip him naked on the back of the team bus with other rookies as part of a hazing ritual … but Akim refused. Because he wanted nothing with the hazing, Akim says Downie “shoved his fiberglass stick through my mouth.”
“I lost seven teeth in half a second. Blood gushing down.”
Akim says he felt forced to drop his gloves and fight Downie in an effort to save face in front of his teammates.
Now, it’s payback time as Akim goes directly at Downie in the article — saying, “I went through hell at the hands of a racist sociopath.”“His name’s Steve Downie.”
“I don’t really give a crap what he thinks about the way I just described him. I’d say it to his face today.”
“He had nothing but hate in his heart back then. He looked at me and saw a black boy with a weird accent — and didn’t like me because of it. I was attacked because of the color of my skin. I knew it then. And I know it even more now.”