Hall of Famer Bobby Hull met with Jewish and black leaders Thursday and contended he was "set up" by a Russian newspaper that alleged he made anti-Semitic and racist remarks.
After a meeting at the headquarters of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Hull vehemently denied making pro-Hitler remarks and said he is suing the Moscow Times and the Toronto Sun for defamation and slander.
"I feel there is more to this than meets the eye. I believe I was set up. We will endeavor to prove this in a court of law," said the former NHL star.
In a story printed three weeks ago, the English-language Moscow Times said Hull made disparaging remarks about the U.S. black population and suggested the Nazis' plan to build a master race was not entirely flawed.
Hull said he also is suing the Toronto Sun, which carried the first North American report of the Moscow Times article.
Mike Strobel, managing editor of the Toronto Sun, said earlier that his paper has no plans to apologize.
"Bobby Hull is an icon and we're sorry he's upset about this," he said in Thursday's editions of his paper. "But if he has a quarrel, it's with the Moscow paper. We just reported on their interview with him, as did lots of other media."
The Moscow Times has said it stands by its story.
Canadian Jewish Congress president Moshe Ronen and Antoni Shelton, executive director of Urban Alliance of Race Relations, both said they appreciated Hull's clarification of the story but would reserve their opinion until any court case is settled.
"We were not here to judge Mr. Hull," said Ronen.
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