NHLer Takes Banana Incident in Stride
On Thursday night the Detroit Red Wings faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers in London, Ontario for what was expected to be an awesome pre-season match-up. It was, until some idiot threw a banana peel at the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds during his shootout attempt. Simmonds went on to score the goal and wasn’t flustered by the flying fruit.
You really have to have a total lack of respect to do something as ignorant as toss trash at an athlete, many considered it as racist. Wayne Simmonds is a talented, gritty hockey player who will dig in the corners and drop the gloves if he has to. He is a hard worker and should fit in well with Philly’s tough style of hockey. I respect him as a good player and now I respect him as a classy one too. Simmonds has shrugged the incident off completely.
It shows a lot of character to be able to put something behind you when it obviously has bothered many others. Just read the article in the Philadelphia Daily News on the topic. It contains statements and quotes of disgust from teammates, agents, other NHL players and Gary Bettman himself about the incident. Simmonds said:
“When you’re a black man playing in a predominantly white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that, over the past 23 years of my life, I’ve come to expect some things like that. But I’m older and more mature now, I kind of just left things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that.”
In another statement through the team he was quoted:
“It was unfortunate that this incident happened but I am above this sort of stuff. This is something that is out of my control. Moving forward, this incident is something I will no longer comment on so I can just focus on playing hockey for the Philadelphia Flyers.”
The person responsible remains unidentified but there is a cash reward to whoever can name banana bandit. It’s too bad when one person can put a smudge on the reputations of others. Here in Canada I thought we were above this kind of nonsense.