Friday, September 23, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Racist Fan Throws Banana At Black Hockey Player

Your Black World Reports:

Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers was greeted by a banana peel just before a shot attempt on a shootout point Thursday at the Labatt Centre in Ontario, Canada.

"I caught it from the side of my eye. It was a banana. Hopefully, that wasn't directed towards me being black," Simmonds said. "Because if it was, that's just somebody being ignorant."

The NHL (National Hockey League) has a history of racism. In 1999, San Jose Sharks player Bryan Marchment admitted to calling Donald Brashear a "big monkey". In 2000, Chris Simon of the Washington Capitols was suspended for using racial insults towards Edmonton Oilers player Mike Grier. In 2002 Carolina Hurricanes goalie Kevin Weekes was also the victim of the "banana peel" treatment.

"When you're a black man playing in a predominately white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like this," Simmonds continues.

By all accounts, Simmonds is handling the situation with "class," because he chooses not to "make a big fuss" about it; though, based on the history of racism in the NHL, a little "fuss" might be exactly what's needed.

From 1958-1991 league reports only 18 African-Americans reached the NHL, by 2004 the number was 17 and at the present the number stands at 28. As the numbers rise hopefully "things like this" will not be the norm but the exception.

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