Racist comments may have led to Condors coaches' suspension

Racist comments may have led to Condors coaches' suspension »Play Video
Bakersfield Condors head coach Marty Raymond (file photo)
It was a decision that seemed to come out of nowhere.

At the end of February of this year, Condors coach Marty Raymond and assistant coach Mark Pederson were suspended in the middle of the hockey season. Raymond was suspended for seven days; Pederson for two weeks. At the time a specific reason was not given for the disciplinary action.

"It was an internal matter, it still is an internal matter," said Condors Team president Matthew Riley. "We dealt with it, I believe, very appropriately at the time and took action and all parties involved are satisfied with the action that was taken."

But an anonymous source tells Eyewitness News that the reason for the suspension was because the two coaches had made anti-Semitic comments toward player Jason Bailey, who is Jewish.

Riley didn't want to go into detail about the incident, but says any derogatory comments about a person's race or ethnicity are not acceptable. "Our owner's Jewish," stated Riley. "So obviously we took the matter or would have taken the matter very seriously, and methodically and done the right thing."

And according to Riley, in this case, the suspension was the right thing.

"It's probably unheard of, or extremely rare that coaches are suspended during a season by their own organization and so we took a lot of risk doing that," Riley said of the disciplinary action. "But we felt it was the right thing to do and regardless of the consequences you need to do the right thing."

Riley says that the issue that led to the suspensions is behind them and the team is moving forward. As for the upcoming hockey season, Marty Raymond will be returning to the Condors coaching staff.

However, Mark Pederson is not, but his departure isn't because of the incident. Pederson will be the head coach of a hockey team in the Netherlands.