THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO — A photo of Toronto Maple Leafs centre Tyler Bozak wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume appeared on his Twitter account Tuesday night.
The photo, which showed Bozak dressed as Michael Jackson and grabbing his groin area to replicate a familiar dance move by the pop icon, was later removed from his account.
After receiving a flurry of criticism on Twitter, Bozak posted another tweet explaining that the costume was a tribute to the late singer.
That’s a tribute to one of my fave artists. For anyone saying its racist is crazy!
— Tyler Bozak (@Bozie42) October 31, 2012
Bozak isn’t the first hockey player to be critized for wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume.
Last year a photo of Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres wearing blackface while dressed as rapper Jay-Z at a Halloween party appeared online.