Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/31/11 at 10:01 PM ET
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Hockey’s sociology department is really having a hell of a year. There was the banana thrown at Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers, a black player, during a pre-season game in London. Ont.; there was Simmonds caught on camera calling Sean Avery of the New York Rangers a “faggot” a couple days later. If you wanted to go further, there is the visor debate, which boils down to a sort of libertarian approach to personal safety, much as, say, seatbelts did. We all know how that one turned out.
And then Sunday, there was Raffi Torres and Paul Bissonnette. Bissonnette, the Phoenix Coyotes forward who has become a Twitter celebrity as @BizNasty2point0, who has over 150,000 followers, put a picture of his Coyotes teammate and his wife in their Halloween costumes as Jay-Z and Beyoncé. They had coloured their skin to appear black.
This, unfortunately, is a practice traditionally known as blackface. It wasn’t the shoe polish Al Jolson used to wear, but Raffi Torres painted himself to look like an African-American. And historically, that carries a weight.
To be clear, nobody should be saying that Torres is a racist.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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