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This Act Doesn’t Belong In Any Game

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Often as the only black player on his team, growing up in Scarborough, Ontario, Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds dealt with his fair share of racial slurs on the ice as he climbed the hockey ladder.

Few experiences could have prepared him for what happened on Thursday night, as a fan in the John Labatt Centre threw a banana peel at Simmonds as he skated in alone on a shootout attempt during a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

“I caught it from the side of my eye,” Simmonds said. “It was a banana. Hopefully, that wasn’t directed towards me being black.

“Because if it was, that’s just somebody being ignorant.”

continued

added 8:34am, from the CP at TSN,

Kevin Weekes, a former NHL goaltender and current CBC colour commentator who is black, expressed his disgust over the incident on his Twitter account.

“For those that asked: I’m extremely disappointed with what happened to Wayne Simmonds tonight in London Ont,” he posted. “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 & ironically this takes place.”

more

added 9:11am,

NEW YORK (Sept. 23, 2011)—Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding an incident at Thursday night’s pre-season game between the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers in London, Ontario:

“We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game. The obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario.”

added 10:58am, via MetroNews,

“As Mayor, and on behalf of Londoners, I am sending an apology to Wayne Simmonds and the Philadelphia Flyers organization regarding the incident at last night’s exhibition game,” the statement reads. “It was a stupid and mindless act by a single individual, however it reflects badly on our entire community. London is a diverse and welcoming city and we like it that way.”

added 1:46pm, Not a very good video, but a fan uploaded one to YouTube which you can watch below.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+simmonds

Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

Was he the first to go in the shootout?  Impossible to tell if there was a racial component, but despicable either way.  That “fan” should be prosecuted.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 09/23/11 at 09:33 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

The only time the NHL seems to press charges for objects tossed on ice is if the fan throws an octopus.

IF racial, it is completely reprehensible and it harms the reputation of hockey fans to have this meathead in our midst. Either way, it is a dangerous and stupid thing to throw objects on the ice during play.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 09/23/11 at 09:41 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Was he the first to go in the shootout?  Impossible to tell if there was a racial component, but despicable either way.  That “fan” should be prosecuted.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 09/23/11 at 08:33 AM ET

He was the first to go and stories indicate that the one during the shootout was the 2nd one thrown. Apparently, an attempt to throw one after he scored the game-tying goal led to the peel failing to clear the glass onto the surface.

Not sure if they were both thrown by the same person or the same group, but it’s pretty obvious that this was a person or a group of people targeting a black player in a racist manner.

I hope the fan is found and is prosecuted

... to within inches of his life.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/23/11 at 10:09 AM ET

yzer19man's avatar

Hope there is video evidence of this so they can catch the person…what a foolhardy and dastardly act

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 09/23/11 at 10:15 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

This is disappointing to see in this day and age.  I really wish this game had been broadcast, simply because it would have meant more cameras, and a better chance of catching whoever did this.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 09/23/11 at 10:22 AM ET

Avatar

Stupid, I hope they figure out who did it.

Posted by timbits on 09/23/11 at 10:24 AM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I am disgusted by this huge show of ignorance.

When will people get it? We all bleed red.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/23/11 at 11:06 AM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

I couldn’t agree more with all of the comments RE: the stupidity and ignorance of this act. It really is sad when people need to try to denigrate others to (somehow) make themselves feel better.

IMHO, regardless of race or nationality, Simmonds is the kind of hard-working player any real hockey fan would be proud to have on the team they support—and appreciate/respect on the opposition. His class in responding to this idiocy only cements that idea further in my mind.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 09/23/11 at 11:43 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

Am I making too fine a point to question whether there is a HUGE jump to conclusion here? I didn’t see the incident and am only aware of it because of IGNORANT Flyers fans puking all over my Facebook page about how all Wings fans are racist….interesting reversal of discrimination to say the least.

I get the ‘monkey’ notion about bananas and that is potentially a racial epithet,

BUT….

Aren’t there other well known ‘characteristics’ about bananas that could be pointed to?
Is it ONLY a racial component that is obvious here?
Is there some trending bigotry in the NHL that I am unaware of?

I hate bigotry as much as anyone, but I think people are jumping to conclusions WAY too quickly in this day and age, and I am MORE disgusted by the immediate VICTIMhood status that seems to be around every corner. Everyone is jumping over each other to apologize first, or louder, or more emotionally this morning.

Some jackhole did a stupid thing…if you are quick to point to Londoners, or hockey fans, or Canadiens, or Wings Fans, or Americans, or ANY other group as being representative here, than YOU are the bigot for casting aspersions on a group of people based on the actions of ONE.

That said, some guy threw something on the ice…unexpectedly. THAT is the issue here…the racial component is a distraction from the real concern. Unlike the octopi that are tossed during stoppages, this event MIGHT have determined the outcome of the game or worse, an entire team’s season and the health of a multi million dollar investment. My guess, is this guy was drunk and knows nothing about hockey and cannot be called a fan for breaking this solemn code of conduct that WE as passionate fans of this sport follow as religion.

Hang him by HIS banana, not for being a bigot, but for endangering MY sport.

Posted by The Hurricane on 09/23/11 at 01:42 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by The Hurricane on 09/23/11 at 12:42 PM ET

Really?

I mean yeah, I’m sure the fan just happened to be eating a banana that he got from the concession stand and just happened to throw it TWICE at the same guy.

All coincidence.  The REAL crime is that someone could’ve SLIPPED on it!!!!

Posted by Garth on 09/23/11 at 01:54 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Am I making too fine a point to question whether there is a HUGE jump to conclusion here? I didn’t see the incident and am only aware of it because of IGNORANT Flyers fans puking all over my Facebook page about how all Wings fans are racist…

The game was played in London, Ontario,Canada. Not in Detroit.

Seems to me the Flyers fans need to read the whole article. Racism, if that was the intent, knows no boarders.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/23/11 at 01:55 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by The Hurricane on 09/23/11 at 12:42 PM ET


What? Yes. It’s a racial thing. See European soccer. Guys have stuff thrown at them sometimes, but it’s only the black guys that have bananas thrown at them.

What’s London, anyway. Is that a Toronto suburb or, like, some backwoods area?

Posted by StevieSteve on 09/23/11 at 01:59 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Ryan Lambert strikes again. Yes he most likely does this just to get under Wings’ fans’ skins…but at some point he’s gone from a wanna-be credible writer to just a pathetic troll. No I won’t post any links, but if you’re even half-way interweb savvy, you’ll figure out what I mean.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 09/23/11 at 02:07 PM ET

Avatar

... and really, who brings a banana to an ice rink to make someone slip? Very funny. I suppose he was going to pelt the ice with marbles next right?

It’s a hate crime with the minor crime being those fans who saw the banana thrower and have not come forward.

Posted by Shaun from Toronto on 09/23/11 at 02:27 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

The REAL crime is that someone could’ve SLIPPED on it!!!!

THAT’s exactly what I said.

I don’t care about this guy’s motive, it shouldn’t matter to anyone. Giving him a platform is what is causing the stir this morning. UNLESS this is a wider spread issue, I have NEVER seen this crap behavior in the NHL and giving ANY significant attention to this idiot only makes it more (pardon the crass pun) appealing to a copycat idiot trying to capture his few seconds of fame.

LGRW

Makes me wonder what the reaction would be if someone threw out a Massengil onto the ice the next time DC is between the benches…...

Posted by The Hurricane on 09/23/11 at 02:43 PM ET

Paul's avatar

A fan-shot video added to the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/23/11 at 02:48 PM ET

Avatar

THAT’s exactly what I said.

Yeah, but I was being INCREDIBLY SARCASTIC.

Posted by Garth on 09/23/11 at 09:13 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t care about this guy’s motive, it shouldn’t matter to anyone. Giving him a platform is what is causing the stir this morning.

It shouldn’t matter?  Are you wilfully ignorant for a living?

The way to react to racism isn’t the pretend it doesn’t happen.  Should we also pretend child abuse doesn’t happen?  Maybe it will stop!

Posted by Garth on 09/23/11 at 09:15 PM ET

Avatar

It was an entirely unnecessary hurtful act.  We live in an age where people are oblivious to the feelings of anyone other than themselves.  I’m sure Simmonds knows it came from the hand of a nitwit but I’m sure it still stings.  I’ve seen it happen at soccer games as well.  Sad to say you can’t say it was an impulsive act because this jerk had to have brought this with him.

Posted by 13 user names on 09/24/11 at 01:04 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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