In what can only be described as a hate crime, a group of Boston Bruins fans have made headlines for their outlandish remarks toward Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals via Twitter.
The incident stems from Ward’s goal that prematurely ended the Bruins season on Wednesday night. The attack, however, was aimed at the colour of the young Capitals forward’s skin. Soon after the game, racist remarks were broadcast all over Twitter. There were some who came to Ward’s defence, including Capitals owner Ted Leonsis in his blog (www.tedstake.com), and teammate Alex Semin.
Ward, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, is one of a small group of black hockey players in the NHL, and just the latest target of racism in the NHL. Earlier this season during a preseason game in London, Ontario, Wayne Simmonds was targeted with a completely unacceptable and unprovoked attack. As he was taking a shootout attempt a fan threw a banana at the Flyer’s forward.
A second incident sparked a lot of controversy during a game between the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers. Kris Barch of the Panthers was suddenly handed a game misconduct, which fans later learned was as a result of a racial slur aimed at the Habs black blue-liner, P.K. Subban. The offence got a lot of backlash aimed at the Panthers, and a great spotlight was cast on the NHL. However, things reached a whole different level last night and today after the conclusion of the Caps – Bruins game.
When Joel Ward scored it was the highlight of his career, according to the native of Barbados. But within a short time after the game, as he learned of the racist remarks aimed at him by Bruins supporters, that was all taken away. The goal lost its lustre. He was cheated out of one the greatest moments he will ever have, and that is just sad.
I don’t want to re-hash everything that was said about him. I don’t believe in giving credence to a word I find completely offensive and an unacceptable part of today’s society. I am not sure what can be done about this, other than making things miserable on Twitter for those offenders who hit way below the belt. What I am willing to do is share some of the accounts involved, should you feel the need to voice your opinion. Again, these are just some of the people involved in racist remarks toward Joel Ward:
Hopefully sports fans can band together and stand up against racism in our game. There is just no room for idiots. Credit to Chirpstory (http://chirpstory.com/li/6781) for exposing these cowards who spew their vile hate speech behind the anonymity of a computer screen.
…and that is the last word.