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Sean Avery allegedly called a homophobic slur by Wayne Simmonds

September 27, 2011 | 10:07 am

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Sean Avery apparently confirmed to reporters what everyone thought they saw during the a preseason NHL game -- that Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds called the New York Rangers winger a homophobic slur.

TV cameras captured Simmonds appearing to utter the slur while the two players were arguing during the first period of the Flyers' 5-3 victory Monday. After the game, Avery was asked if Simmonds called him “what we think he called you.”

Avery replied, "Yeah, yeah."

He added that he had "no idea" why Simmonds would say something like that.

Simmonds did not confirm or deny making the remark.

“Honestly, we were going back and forth for a while there,” he said, without providing details. “I don't recall everything that I did say to him, but he said to me some things I didn't like. And maybe I said some things that he didn't like.

“I can't recall every single word I said.”

When asked what Avery had said to him, Simmonds answered, “I'm not going to rat him out."

Flyers Coach Peter Laviolette said nothing about the alleged slur, addressing only the heated nature of the match-up between the players. “It was a couple of guys battling out there,” he said.

Rangers Coach John Tortorella backed his player. “I didn't hear it. I don't think Sean Avery is lying,” he said. “I'll let the league handle it. I did not hear it, but I'm sure Sean Avery isn't going to lie about it.”

The incident was part of an ugly game that resulted in 77 combined penalty minutes for the Atlantic Division rivals.

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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Sean Avery of the New York Rangers is hit by Wayne Simmonds  of the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on Monday. Credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

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