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Former Ducks minor league player says he faced anti-Semitic remarks

Jason Bailey once played for the Bakersfield Condors, a former Ducks affiliate. He has filed a lawsuit, seeking damages from both teams.

January 26, 2011|By Kevin Baxter

Officials for both the Ducks and the team's former affiliate in the minor league ECHL declined to comment Wednesday on a lawsuit filed by a former player who said he was forced to "endure a barrage of anti-Semitic, offensive and degrading verbal attacks regarding his Jewish faith" during his time with the organization.

Jason Bailey, a 23-year-old forward now playing for the Ottawa Senators' farm team in the American Hockey League, is seeking unspecified damages from the Ducks and the Bakersfield Condors, for whom Bailey played during the 2008-09 season when the verbal abuse allegedly occurred. Bailey that season had two assists in 35 games.

According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court, Bakersfield Coach Marty Raymond and his then-assistant, Mark Pederson, repeatedly harassed Bailey, leading the player to eventually seek a trade. In the filing, Bailey said he complained about his treatment and the team responded by suspending Raymond for one week and Pederson for two weeks. Both coaches also wrote letters of apology.

But the Condors didn't publicly acknowledge the reason for the suspensions until after the season when General Manager Matthew Riley told a Bakersfield television station that "all parties involved were satisfied with the action that was taken."

One of Bailey's attorneys, Keith A. Fink, challenged that Wednesday, calling the coaches' apologies insincere. One of the letters said the slurs were intended to create "a jovial moment."

"It's laughable," Fink said. "The guy says he's joking. These are virulent anti-Semitic comments. These aren't jokes."

Pederson left to coach in Europe after the 2009 season; Raymond remains the Condors' head coach. Meanwhile, Bailey had appeared in 17 games for Binghamton before Wednesday night's game against Adirondack.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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