SUN Hockey Pool

Swearing, bye Georges

AJAY BHARDWAJ -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

Edmonton Oilers tough guy George Laraque lost a few fans after he hurled an obscenity at a woman during a weekend hockey game.

The woman was watching the charity game Sunday between her brother's team, the Fatheads, and Laraque's team, when the rugged winger yelled an obscenity at her at Parkland Arena.

Laraque later apologized, said Charlotte Barton.

"He said 'sometimes when I play in a game I get way too into it and words come out of my mouth that I don't realize I'm saying and regret them later,' "said Barton, 24.

Laraque, who wouldn't say what he said, insisted the woman was hurling obscenities his way first.

"And then I just responded to them," he said.

"They were sitting behind their team and then they switched sides and were sitting behind me and they started swearing at me and I just responded.

"If somebody swears at me, I'm going to swear back. I would never do or say anything stupid. I'm the type of guy who stands up for myself, I'm a tough guy.

"If someone swears at me, I'm going to say something back. It's not like there were kids there.

"I apologized because of what happened."

He added complaints arising from the incident came only because the Fatheads - players who know Laraque well - were frustrated by the loss.

The exchange happened Sunday afternoon in the finals of a four-on-four hockey tournament for a non-profit group.

Proceeds went to a hot lunch program for kids.

Barton was there with her father to cheer on the Fatheads.

She said the score was 9-4 for Laraque's team when the teams traded goals.

While Barton said she didn't swear at Laraque, she admitted to trading barbs with him.

That's when she says Laraque hurled the obscenity.

"I said 'have some respect.' And that was it."

She said the altercation bothered her.

"I've been to enough hockey games and I've yelled," Charlotte said.

"But when it's someone you respect because of the way they play hockey or who they play for, when they say something like that to you, it hurts."

Her brother Stefan also heard Laraque swear at Charlotte.

"This was completely out of character for Georges," he said, adding he was disappointed by Laraque's display.

Fatheads' fans were giving Laraque's team a good-natured ribbing during the game, said Fatheads forward T.J. Woodward.

"The guy just took it way too personally," he said.


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