Racism is Never Acceptable (Updated, Gary Bettman statement)

I didn’t cover the Flyers-Red Wings game at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario but yet it still affected me. Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds had a banana thrown at him and since he is a black man that is a terrible racial injustice. It’s an “old school” way that I had hoped would be out of our society these days but whether you are in Canada or the United States its there and moments like this prove it.

As a Jewish male I have encountered racism in my own life and I have to admit I’m pretty sensitive to it. I hate to see it and when I do I talk about it. I don’t sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away. I’m not saying that’s what Wayne is doing here because he isn’t doing that, he’s taking the high road and I respect that immeasurably. However, I did feel the need to write about it in case this jerk happens to frequent my website. “If you do you and your kind aren’t welcome here.” I can only hope that in this day and age somebody has this on their phone or camera or on the local broadcast perhaps. I doubt there will be any sort of hardcore investigation but I hope somebody does query the fans in hopes of catching this creep.

I listen to a lot of people on an everyday basis and many times I will hear slur’s in folk’s everyday conversations and it makes you wonder if they realize what they are doing? Sure folks should always follow the “sticks and stones” mantra but sometimes you can’t look the other way. I’m not suggesting the world has to be “PC” but what I am suggesting is that others show some respect for their fellow human, that’s all, some basic courtesy and kindness. It seems like a simple concept but one that is not carried out by enough people on this earth.

I feel like I must point out that this can happen in any city, country or event so tagging this to a particular fan base or country isn’t the answer here. Some will say it was just one jerk and move on but these situations always stick with me, maybe I shouldn’t be this affected but I am.

Simmonds (l) is a great guy and a solid hockey player who scored a goal tonight and that should be the end of the sentence.

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."

photo by del Tufo.