TORONTO -- The NHL called it "stupid and ignorant." Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds said he's "above this sort of stuff."
A banana was thrown from the stands in London, Ontario, on Thursday night as Simmonds was skating toward Detroit goalie Jordan Pearce during a shootout in an exhibition game. Simmonds is black.
"We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Friday. "The obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario."
Despite the disruption, Simmonds scored in the shootout, but the Red Wings went on to win, 4-3.
"It shocked me and I knew I had to keep going and get a shot off," said Simmonds, who is from Toronto. "It was certainly unusual."
"I don't know if it had anything to do with the fact I'm black," he added. "I certainly hope not. When you're black, you kind of expect [racist] things. You learn to deal with it."