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NHL suspends Krys Barch for one game

Via the Miami Herald’s George Richards:

#FlaPanthers Krys Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

We still don’t know what Barch may or may not have said to Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, but we know it was bad enough to warrant a suspension.

Update: Interesting stuff from the Sporting News’s Jesse Spector:

#FlaPanthers Krys Barch suspension was under Colin Campbell’s purview, not Brendan Shanahan’s.
...
Barch said Campbell told him if it had been racial, he would’ve gotten 5-10 games.

Update #2: Per Richards:

Word is #FlaPanthers Krys Barch gets 1 game for asking PK Subban if he ‘slipped on a banana peel’ after going down in fight w/ Gudbranson

Update #3: Barch spoke to the Sporting News’s Jesse Spector about his suspension:

“The things maybe I said were pretty explicit and maybe not for kids’ ears ... My grandma wouldn’t want to hear it, let’s put it that way,” Barch told Sporting News’ Jesse Spector in New York on Thursday. He’ll miss Florida’s game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Barch was ejected from Florida’s Jan. 31 game against Montreal for, a league official told The Miami Herald, directing a racial slur at Subban that was overheard by a linesman. Subban is black. In the aftermath, the Panthers said that it was a misunderstanding, and that Barch said something inappropriate that was not racial.

By Thursday the NHL agreed; Barch said that league executive Colin Campbell, who handled the matter, backed up the players’ assertion that whatever was said wasn’t racial—and based his judgment accordingly.

” ‘If there was any question that this was racial, you’d be done five to 10 games, and (the decision) would be done the day after,” Barch said, quoting Campbell.

Barch, 31, apologized profusely for whatever he said and the misunderstanding it apparently created but would not repeat the original phrase—only offering that it was vulgar without being racist.

“I never would ever say anything unjust or racial toward somebody else,” Barch told Sporting News.

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Comments

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So if you hit deliver a potentially brain-damaging or career-ending hit, you may or may not get suspended/fined, but if you say something that might make someone feel bad you’re definitely sitting down and losing money.

Posted by Garth on 01/05/12 at 03:01 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“So if you hit deliver a potentially brain-damaging or career-ending hit, you may or may not get suspended/fined, but if you say something that might make someone feel bad you’re definitely sitting down and losing money.”

Not true. If Barch would have said something about fuching Subban’s mom, that would have been totally cool.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 01/05/12 at 03:21 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Politcal Correctness Runs Amok even in the NHL !

Grow a Pair & deal with it & what happened to the saying we have all heard & used as a Kid? “Stick & Stones may break my bones, But names will never hurt me”

Posted by Evilpens on 01/05/12 at 03:27 PM ET

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Not true. If Barch would have said something about fuching Subban’s mom, that would have been totally cool.

Well, that’s because Subban’s mom is like the village bicycle, AM I RIGHT FELLAS?!?!?!

Posted by Garth on 01/05/12 at 03:27 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

All these tweets/reports don’t add up. If it was the “banana peel” comment, than that is definitely racist and if Campbell really said what he said, that means Barch would have gotten 5 games. So, which report is wrong? Obviously, at least one of them is totally fabricated…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/05/12 at 04:32 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Nathan, can’t someone look like they’re slipping on a banana peel no matter his race?  Subban happens to be black, which is the only reason that is equated with racism.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 01/05/12 at 05:11 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If it wasn’t racial, then I fail to see why any discipline or apology is necessary.  Grow a set, people…

But hey, let’s go ahead and try to end some lives with our elbows, ok you good western Canadian boys?

Yes, I’m agreeing with Garth on this one.


Interesting side anecdote:

Do you know how many people I had to explain the Wayne Simmonds/banana incident to, that didn’t understand it?

They weren’t pretending either:  they really didn’t get the “connection”, even knowing Simmonds is black.  And even after explanation, several of them STILL didn’t get it or understand why someone would use that as a method.

Posted by Primis on 01/05/12 at 05:14 PM ET

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All these tweets/reports don’t add up. If it was the “banana peel” comment, than that is definitely racist and if Campbell really said what he said, that means Barch would have gotten 5 games. So, which report is wrong? Obviously, at least one of them is totally fabricated…

Unnamed sources told the Miami Herald about the “banana peel” comment.  Ah, the unnamed source….the favorite crutch of “writers” everywhere to create a story out of absolutely nothing.  Seriously though, I am in no way trying to discredit the fine work numerous writers do, but it’s disgusting the number of times these days especially in sports something accredited to an unnamed source turns out to be completely wrong.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 01/05/12 at 05:17 PM ET

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To be fair, since this issue was handled by Colin Campbell it’s pretty hard to assume things like metrics, history, common sense, baseline intelligence, honesty or anything remotely resembling competence were factors in this decision.

Best bet is that Campbell lost a few bucks to Tallon in a poker game and is sore about it.  Or someone with Florida plates cut him off in traffic.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/05/12 at 05:36 PM ET

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Yes, I’m agreeing with Garth on this one.

I know.  I’m scared too.

If it was the “banana peel” comment, than that is definitely racist

a) No it isn’t
b) Barch himself said that his comments were vulgar but not racist, so it probably wasn’t anything about slipping on a banana peel since that is neither inherently racist nor vulgar in any way.

Posted by Garth on 01/05/12 at 05:40 PM ET

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Yes, I’m agreeing with Garth on this one.

I know.  I’m scared too.

If it was the “banana peel” comment, than that is definitely racist

a) No it isn’t
b) Barch himself said that his comments were vulgar but not racist, so it probably wasn’t anything about slipping on a banana peel since that is neither inherently racist nor vulgar in any way.

Just because you don’t think a comment is racist doesn’t mean that it isn’t.  I know plenty of people who don’t think that’s racist just like you, and there’s nothing wrong with anyone who thinks that way especially if they didn’t grow up or have not spent a lot of time in a racially charged area.  However, when you’re having an arguement with a black man and make that comment in today’s world, it’s racist.

All that being said, this whole incident is still just full of speculation on all our parts as no one who for sure knows what was said is talking about it, and the only people who claim to have the truth have to tell it with the caveat of no one knowing who they are.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 01/05/12 at 05:54 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

a) No it isn’t
b) Barch himself said that his comments were vulgar but not racist, so it probably wasn’t anything about slipping on a banana peel since that is neither inherently racist nor vulgar in any way.

Posted by Garth on 01/05/12 at 02:40 PM ET

That comment is racist. Forget if Barch said it or not for a second. If anyone says that to a black person, it is racist, even if the intent isn’t there. Ignorance isn’t an excuse for doing something wrong…

All my point was, some or all of these reports are making things up or taking liberties with the “sources.” Odds are, we will never know what was really said and why Barch was truly suspended.

Nathan, can’t someone look like they’re slipping on a banana peel no matter his race?  Subban happens to be black, which is the only reason that is equated with racism.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 01/05/12 at 02:11 PM ET

Of course anyone could appear to be slipping, but Barch himself admits what he said was highly inappropriate. If he had said something to a white guy like, “Looks like you’re stepping on banana peels!” that wouldn’t be racist, and it wouldn’t even be close to “explicit” as Barch described it.

I’m not saying Barch made a racial comment… I don’t think any of us know, and I would think Subban (rightfully) would be making a bigger deal of this if it had been racial. My point was exactly that though… that some people are lying or fabricating stories here.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/05/12 at 06:56 PM ET

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If anyone says that to a black person, it is racist, even if the intent isn’t there.

Why?  Racism implies intent.

The comment has nothing to do with race.  It’s a reference to a hacky, olde-tyme-y joke.

If he made that comment then he was making fun of Subban for slipping, not making fun of his race.

Unless you can prove that Barch would not have made that comment to anyone else who slipped while fighting one of Barch’s teammate then you have no right to just blanket someone with the word “racist”.

but Barch himself admits what he said was highly inappropriate.

Actually, what he SPECIFICALLY said was “I know myself and what I said, it may have been inappropriate, but it was nowhere along the lines of racial slur”.

Oh, and “for my sake, my friend’s sake, my family’s sake, I never said anything that was racially driven. There wasn’t a slur.”

Posted by Garth on 01/05/12 at 07:27 PM ET

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I see no racism in the comment, at all, whatsoever. The banana peel is an ages old gag, it has nothing to do with race.

I eat a banana every freaking day, if I had a black friend over in the morning and was making breakfast I would offer him/her a banana and not even think twice about it. ITS A FRUIT! HOLY SHITE! Next thing you are going to tell me is that offering banana’s to Kenyan runners after a marathon is racist!

The vulgar things he said most likely something like “what you slip on a banana peel there you [freaking] [female reproductive organ]”

Posted by pstumba on 01/05/12 at 08:42 PM ET

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I see no racism in the comment, at all, whatsoever. The banana peel is an ages old gag, it has nothing to do with race.

I eat a banana every freaking day, if I had a black friend over in the morning and was making breakfast I would offer him/her a banana and not even think twice about it. ITS A FRUIT! HOLY SHITE! Next thing you are going to tell me is that offering banana’s to Kenyan runners after a marathon is racist!

The vulgar things he said most likely something like “what you slip on a banana peel there you [freaking] [female reproductive organ]”

Offering a banana to a black friend and being in an argument with a black person and throwing a banana into the mix are two completely different things.  If you can’t realize the difference than there’s no point conversing with you on the subject.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 01/05/12 at 11:22 PM ET

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Offering a banana to a black friend and being in an argument with a black person and throwing a banana into the mix are two completely different things.  If you can’t realize the difference than there’s no point conversing with you on the subject.

Are you under the impression that Krys Barch threw a banana at PK Subban?

Do you not understand that not everything is racial?  Just because you perceive everything in the world to be racially motivated does not mean that everyone else does.

If two guys trip and one is black while the other is white, is it OK for me to ask them both if they slipped on a banana peel or do I have to change the question, change the joke, change the age-old imagery of someone comically slipping on a banana peel when I talk to the black guy?

Barch didn’t throw a banana at Subban in an argument.  He made fun of Subban FOR FALLING by making a comparison to a stupid joke that EVERYONE KNOWS.

Or maybe you don’t.  You see, a long time a guy someone slipped on a banana peel.  He may have been white.  He may have been black.  He may have been chinese.  IT DOESN’T MATTER.  Now, some enterprising comedic actor or writer saw this happen and decided that it would be an hilarious sight to perform in front of an audience.  He would peel the banana.  He would eat the banana.  He would carelessly discard the banana peel on the ground.  He would step on the banana and he would fall.  The audience would laugh.

That’s where the comment comes from.

If you can provide documented proof that Krys Barch said what he said to PK Subban because it was PK Subban he was talking to and because PK Subban is black then please present your evidence, because otherwise all we have is a player slipping on the ice and another player making fun of him for it.

Oh, another thing to note is that most professional hockey players are very good skaters and thus it would be comical to an opponent, who is also a professional hockey player and thus most likely to be a competent skater, if that person were to slip on the ice.

Do you see how that would be hilarious?

Do you see how that might provoke a comment regarding the possibility that the man who fell had in fact slipped on the discarded skin of a banana?  Whether the player who fell is black or white?

Posted by Garth on 01/06/12 at 12:25 AM ET

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I’m sorry that my comment of “throwing a banana into the mix” threw you for such a loop, Garth.  Oops….by “threw you for a loop” I didn’t mean it actually physically caused you to do a somersault.  I’ll try to repeat clearly what I’ve said so far.  I don’t know what Barch said.  He’s not saying.  The league’s not saying.  The only people who I’ve seen that are saying they know what Barch said are the elusive unnamed sources.  That’s crap.

My point which apparently I didn’t make clearly, is that when you’re in an argument with a black person and make a comment along the lines of the “what did you do, slip on a banana peel”...the comment can be construed as racist.  You don’t have to know it wil be, or in any way think it will be….but it will.  That doesn’t make you racist for saying it.  As you correctly stated earlier, true racism does in my mind require intent.  It takes nothing other than opening your mouth however, to say something racist.  That doesn’t make you racist or even a bad person.  It makes you someone that made mistake; i.e. it makes you a human being.

Once again, at no point did I comment on what exactly Barch said, as I don’t know.  If you want to start a thread somewhere about what should and shouldn’t be considered racist, let me know.  I’m sure I’d end up on the same side as you on that one.  Unfortunately at no point did I comment about that.  My point is that given the world we live in, a comment like, “what did you do, slip on a banana peel” in that particular situation between a white man and a black man is going to be seen as racist by someone whether it was intended to or not.

That’s the last I’m going to say on the subject.  Ignore it, make fun of it…do what you will.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 01/06/12 at 01:16 AM ET

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...the comment can be construed as racist.

Fine, but that’s not what you said.  You said the comment is racist.  You said I was wrong saying that it’s not racist.

I never once said it couldn’t be construed as racist.

You stated that it is racist.  I said it is not inherently racist.

Just because the word “banana” was used and PK Subban is black doesn’t mean that the comment is racist.

Can I not talk about getting a black eye in front of a black person?

That can be construed as racist.

At a barbecue on a hot summer day, am I not allowed to eat watermelon in front of a black person?

That can be construed as racist.

If I say someone is the black sheep of the family, it isn’t a racial remark.  Ignorant people who don’t know the basis of the comment might construe it as being racist, but just because someone says it is racist does not make it racist.

The comment itself, “what did you do, slip on a banana peel” is not racist.  It is not in any way based in race, and just because it was said to a black man does not make the comment racist.  Whether a white referee construed it as racist has no bearing on what I said.

There’s a world of difference between “that can be construed as racist” and “that is racist”.

Posted by Garth on 01/06/12 at 02:18 AM ET

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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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