Pro hockey player Akim Aliu is taking the high road with his old coach, Bill Peters ... saying the man deserves his new opportunity to work, despite the racist remarks he made more than 10 years ago.
Remember, Aliu opened up this past November and claimed Peters "dropped the N-bomb several times" toward him during his rookie year with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2008-09 season.
The NHL opened an investigation into the accusations and Peters quickly resigned from his then-gig with the Calgary Flames.
Now, Peters has found new work with the Kontinental Hockey League Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg ... a move that Aliu is surprisingly okay with.
"Only with the past behind us can we focus on the future," Aliu said in a statement.
"Hockey is for all. I believe in second chances for everyone, that we can all find forgiveness in our heart and that real positive change is coming if we continue to push forward together."
"I don’t resent a man for finding work," Aliu said. "But I will fight to make sure those same opportunities are available to everyone, on and off the ice, regardless of race or ethnicity."
It's a powerful statement from Aliu ... who's made it his goal to help minorities feel more welcome in the sport.
As for Peters, he said he's learned from his mistakes, saying, "I think as times goes on, we all grow and improve and become better versions of ourselves."
"And I’m no different than that. You learn from all the experiences that you’re in, and you become better."