Tag: racism


Report: Krys Barch decision to come on Thursday

1 Comment

Considering the NHL’s three significant disciplinary decisions tonight, it’s probably not fair to say that the league is procrastinating when it comes to the Krys Barch-P.K. Subban situation.

However you explain it, the decision isn’t expected to come until sometime before Barch’s Florida Panthers play on Thursday. Nick Kypreos reports that Barch’s much-delayed hearing will come at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

The sensitive nature of the situation and tough task of compiling proper evidence probably explains the curious amount of time required to make the decision. That being said, the unexpected build-up gives it the feel of a precedent-setting verdict, even if the NHL has handed out suspensions and other punishments for (alleged) racial slurs in the past.

NHL delays meeting with Krys Barch

Brad Richards, Krys Barch

Earlier this afternoon, it looked like Krys Barch was primed for a meeting with the NHL at 3 p.m. ET. It turns out that won’t be the case; TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the meeting has been delayed – possibly until Wednesday.

My guess is that two factors delayed this process: 1) the sensitive nature of the situation, as Barch allegedly uttered a racial slur toward P.K. Subban and 2) Barch’s Florida Panthers don’t play until Thursday. Even so, Dreger probably said it best in the end of his Tweet: “Strange process on this one.”

The league has a history of suspending players for racially charged comments, but it has been quite some time since that last happened. Even so, these can certainly be thornier subjects than controversial hits. One potential issue is that there might not be a lot of concrete “evidence” that something specific was said. (It’s not as if this is as simple as determining whether a player delivers a head shot, after all.)

Either way, Colin Campbell and the NHL will have to deal with this soon, as uncomfortable and difficult as this situation seems to be.

Banana-tosser is “mortified” by his racist gesture, is pretty foolish

Wayne Simmonds

Chris Moorhouse is going down in hockey history as the guy who’ll forever be known as the guy that made a disgusting, racist gesture towards Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds by tossing a banana at Simmonds during a shootout attempt.

Whether Moorhouse is either completely ignorant of racist gestures, living a sheltered life, or adding “boldfaced liar” to his résumé, his attorney says that Moorhouse had no idea that such a tactic was viewed as being racist.

The Globe And Mail has the details from Moorhouse’s attorney as to what his take is on the entire situation. Set your faces for “disbelief.”

Faisal Joseph says Chris Moorhouse was caught up in the drama of a tense game featuring his favourite hockey team and threw the fruit in hopes of preventing the winning goal.

Moorhouse has admitted to throwing a banana at Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, but Joseph says his client was unaware of the racial overtones of his actions.

Joseph says Moorhouse is “mortified” and deeply remorseful for the incident and fears it has clouded the reputation of his family and home town.

Let’s go down the checklist here. Moorhouse was caught up in the excitement of a preseason game shootout, had no idea about how racist it is to commit such an act, and fears he’s ruined his reputation. Hey, one out of three things being right would make for a great batting average in baseball.

We understand that it’s just his attorney making a plea to have people cool off on his client and pleading ignorance (in this particular way at least) makes for a nice try. We’re not buying it though. Now if Moorhouse had said he was a huge fan of Super Mario Kart and left his red turtle shell at home and grabbed the banana instead, we’d find that to be entertaining at least. This plea, however, falls well short of being believable.

Moorhouse was busted for doing something incredibly insensitive and disgusting and is trying very hard to save face. Best of luck there.

Fans, players and writers support Wayne Simmonds after racial taunt

Wayne Simmonds

As you probably already know, at least one fan threw a banana at black Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds during a neutral-site preseason game in London, Ontario last night. It was a truly revolting moment of racism, but sadly far from the only incident in recent hockey history.

The hope is that such an awful scene doesn’t paint broad brushstrokes about the hockey community in general. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said it well when he called it a “stupid and ignorant action” that shouldn’t represent fans in London, Ontario as a whole.

Thankfully, that ugly situation prompted a lot of support for Simmonds among hockey teammates and opponents as well as fans and writers. First, let’s take a look at what a few of his colleagues had to say via Twitter, with help from this NHL.com article. (Note: some shorthand has been corrected.)

St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart:

The incident that happened in london tonight involving my best friend wayne simmonds was simply disgusting, it’s 2011 people need to grow up.

San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture:

Wayne Simmonds is a good friend of mine. To hear what happened tonight to him in my hometown is awful. No need for this in sports, or life.

Former goalie and current TV analyst Kevin Weekes (in three parts):

For those that asked: I’m extremely disappointed with what happened to Wayne Simmonds tonight in London Ont. We’ve taken HUGE steps to grow the game of hockey. As I speak Willie O’Ree and I are in D.C attending the Black Congressional Caucus on behalf of the #NHL and ironically this takes place. :( There’s NO place for this in sports since sport connects us not divides us.

As far as hockey writers and fans go, CSNPhilly.com gathered some of the reactions in this article. Here’s a quick excerpt.

By hockey writer Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP)
Covered Wayne Simmonds for entire 3 years with Kings. His response to an ignorant act displays the same class I’ve seen since day one.

By Rob Kennedy (@robk35)
Heard what happened to Wayne Simmonds. people quit giving hockey a bad name by ruthless and classless acts, hockey is a gentleman’s game.

By Heather (@owlssinitaly)
Whoever threw that banana at Wayne Simmonds needs to get slapped.

I have to agree with Heather on that one.

A recent history of racial incidents in the NHL

Wayne Simmonds

Wayne Simmonds showed a lot of class and character by taking the high road in discussing last night’s awful incident in which an Ontario fan threw a banana at him. While his private thoughts must be at least a bit different from his diplomatic public comments, here’s hoping that he wasn’t hurt too deeply by a bad apple (or a few bad apples) who did such a lousy thing to him in his old stomping grounds.

Sadly enough, you probably have to have thick skin to fight your way to the NHL as a black hockey player. It seems like these terrible gestures are pretty rare – at least at the sport’s highest level – but these moments still bruise the sport’s reputation.

While this isn’t meant to be a complete list, here are some of the more notable moments and interesting stories revolving around the topic of racism in hockey from the last 10 years or so. (Note: this list focuses mainly on the NHL, so feel free to discuss issues at the junior, college and minor league levels in the comments.)

John Vanbiesbrouck and Trevor Daley: The “Bieser” might be remembered for his fantastic, rubber rat-laden run to the 1996 Stanley Cup finals with the Florida Panthers, but others will allow a far less pleasant memory linger. Vanbiesbrouck resigned from his position as the general manager of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds after using a racial epithet in regard while discussing current Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley in 2003. Vanbiesbrouck apologized profusely for his ugly comment, but the damage was already done.

Kevin Weekes, Wayne Simmonds and Peter Worrell are among the (hopefully small list of) black players who’ve had bananas thrown at them. Worrell dealt with quite a few other high-profile incidents of racist behavior, including when Craig Berube received a one-game suspension for calling him a “monkey.” As PHT discussed in the post about the Simmonds situation, Georges Laraque also accused Sean Avery of uttering the same racial remark in 2005.

Ted Nolan’s claims of prejudice: Racism isn’t always just a “black or white” issue in hockey. Former Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan is of First Nation heritage, which Nolan claimed was a roadblock as he attempted to land another coaching job. The validity of his argument is up for debate, but it seemed worthy of a mention. Regardless of that dicussion, there should be little doubt that Nolan dealt with his fair share of discrimination.

Different minority groups haven’t always gotten along very well with each other, either, as you can see from an ugly incident involving Chris Simon (Ojibwa descent) and black winger Mike Grier.

Jarome Iginla being left off one 2002 Hart Trophy ballot: Much like Nolan’s claims, this situation isn’t cut-and-dry. There could be plenty of other reasons why one award voter left Jarome Iginla off of his Hart Trophy ballot altogether, but a subset of hockey people still wonder if racism was the true catalyst. (It ended up changing the voting process, so it was a significant moment either way.)

Modern players discuss dealing with racism: Before they became the Winnipeg Jets, the Atlanta Thrashers were trying to improve themselves on the ice and at the box office by adding a relatively large amount of black players to their roster. CNN caught up with some of the Thrashers’ black stars to ask them about racism in the sport.

American History X and hockey: To finish things off with a random but interesting anecdote, Frank Meeink – a former skinhead who served as the loose basis for Edward Norton’s character in the film “American History X”began to dispel his racist viewpoints when he started playing ball hockey with black players.


Hopefully this was an interesting snapshot of a troubling issue for the sport, but if you want to go back deeper into the history of black hockey players, click here.