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Encouraging words and good deeds.

The story of 13-year-old Divyne Apollon II, a Washington, D.C.-area African-American hockey player who has been subjected to racist taunts on the ice, has touched a nerve in the hockey world.

People have responded. Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman John Carlson stepped up Wednesday, inviting Apollon and his entire Metro Maple Leafs team to attend the Caps’ January 14  home game against the St. Louis Blues.

“Hey Metro Maple Leafs, we heard about the unfortunate incidents that have been taking place with Divyne, but we were so happy to see your team stand up to defend and support each other,” Smith-Pelly said in the video.

The Capitals are giving the Metro Maple Leafs 60 tickets to the game and the Maryland youth hockey team will get a chance to meet Smith-Pelly, Carlson and other Washington players after the contest.

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban delivered encouraging words to Apollon and Ty Cornett  another 13-year-old hockey player of color from Detroit, Michigan, who has also been subjected to racial slurs – via Instagram.

Divyne and his father, Divyne Apollon Sr., shared their experiences of playing hockey while black in an eloquent interview with NPR Wednesday morning.

Divyne Apollon II, left, with Divyne Apollon Sr., and the player’s sisters, Devinity and Deja (Photo/Courtesy of Divyne Apollon Sr.).

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