No Room For Racism in Hockey… Part 2 of 2011-12
On New Years Eve, 2011 the Montreal Canadiens visited the Florida Panthers in what was, for the most part a typical NHL game. However one ugly incident marred the whole affair.
At the end of the first period there was a scrum in the Florida end. After the referees broke things up, they announced that Kris Barch (who was on the Florida Bench and not the ice) was being given a game misconduct.
After the game the linesman stated that Barch made a racial slur at Canadiens Defender PK Subban, and was given the game misconduct for his actions. His conduct was reported to the league. His exact comment was, “Subban, Did you slip on a (bleep) banana peel?”
Today the league gave Barch a one game suspension and Barch has stated that it was not racially motivated and that this is all a misunderstanding.
What a crock… Does Barch really expect us to believe this? We all remember the incident in London early this year involving Wayne Simmonds and a banana being thrown at him. This was huge news in the hockey world. The racial undertones of a black player and a banana were talked about throughout the media and could not be ignored in the hockey media.
And now Barch is saying that just three months later he didn’t realize that a comment about a banana made to another black player would be seen as being racially motivated? Puh-lease.
That the NHL accepted Barch’s explanation and limited the suspension to merely one game is a joke.
There is quite simply no place for this in the league and the NHL had the opportunity to send a real message here.
How this is only 1 game when Sean Avery and James Wisniewski got much harsher punishments for sexual innuendo, actions, and comments that were misogynistic in nature seems very odd to me. The NHL really should have taken a much harsher stand against something that should be unacceptable in the sport. 5 games at minimum was required here.
…. And thats the last word.