Apr 27, 2012

"What year is this again,"  is how the email started that my good friend, Tony R., from D.C. sent me along with a link to an article.  Now any time Tony sends me an email I know it's going to be something that is going to make my head hurt or my pressure go up.  You see Tony is the same person that informed me of the Trayvon Martin case well before the mainstream media was reporting on the subject matter.  So I take his emails very seriously.  Tony is what I describe as my very own Dr. Tim Wise.  He's one of the white brethren who really gets the complexity of white supremacy in this country.  So when he sends me something, I know to pay attention.

I clicked on the link and it took me to an article highlighting the racist tweets that were sent out after a black hockey player scored a game-winning goal during the NHL playoffs.  Now because I don't watch hockey, I was completely oblivious to the fact that the NHL was even having their playoffs.
I read the article and sorry to say I wasn't that surprised about the racist tweets that were sent out about Joel Ward, the black hockey player that scored the winning goal.  I guess I'm more surprised that other people are surprised and shocked that this stuff still happens.

There is no place where racism and ignorance is on display more than the internet.  The cloak anonymity gives some people cajones they ordinarily wouldn't have when it comes to some of the racist stuff they tweet or post on a person's website.  Just look to your right and you'll see that post that I wrote in 2008 on the 'N-Word' is still the most popular post on my site and please don't even get me started on the comments in that post.

This is the world in which we live in.  As much as people want it to go away, racism and ignorance is here to stay.  You know why?  Because racist and ignorant people keep having children and spreading that B.S. to them.  That's how the cycle continues.

I remember what Wayne Simmonds, also a black hockey player, said when he had a banana peel thrown at him during a hockey game.

"When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like that," Simmonds said at the time. "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."

I just wonder why these types of things never happen when it comes to white players participating in predominantly black sports.   I never heard a white player say you have to come to expect racist stuff when you are a white man playing a predominantly black sport.  Why is that?

Click here if you care to read some of the racist things that were said about Joel Ward after he scored that winning goal.

I don't watch hockey, but ti's stories like this that makes me reconsider.  I'll watch it just to support the brother.


  1. I've been scouring Google for several weeks now, looking for any positive articles regarding African Americans and minorities, and the strides they have made in the NHL as well as ice hockey in general. So far, I've been disappointed, seeing many websites highlighting negative and unfortunate situations that a few drunk fools decided to do out of "alcohol courage". I would like to see more articles about the good that the NHL has done for minorities and share a little experiences of my own.

    1.) Willie O'Ree, the first NHL player of African descent, a Canadian, played some games with the Boston Bruins, the team whose fans showed vehement racism toward Mr. Ward after the game. He, in fact, famously scored a game winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins hated rival, which earned him a standing ovation from the white Bruins fans at the end of the game.

    2.) The "Great One", Wayne Gretzky (the Michael Jordan of the NHL), once said in his autobiography that if he were to play a game for everything he had, he would have have Grant Fuhr, the Hall of Fame goalie who happens to be Black Canadian, in between the pipes.

    3.) There are currently a multitude of programs available for minority/urban youth who wish to learn an play the sport at this time. Some are sponsored by NHL teams themselves, like the "Ice Hockey in Harlem" program which is sponsored by the New York Rangers and the "Presidents Club" which is cosponsored by the Washington Capitals. Also, Ice Hockey makes an impact on urban youth. Just ask Ft. Dupont Ice Arena in DC about their Neil Henderson. He has made positive impacts on many black/latino youths lives and I, myself, can personally attest to their skill level. It is far equal to their white counterparts.

    4.) The NHL recently has set up a college fund for students interested in HBCU's as the NHL, partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. This will allow many minority students the ability to afford college, allowing them to better themselves in society.

    5.)Look up "Hockey is For Everyone". That should be self explainitory.

    6.)Currently, the total of Black NHL players is on an increase. Don't believe me, just look up the Winnipeg Jets roster. The Winnipeg Jets were formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, who just recently moved back to Winnipeg due to financial troubles.

    7.) Jarome Iginla, possibly the greatest Calgary Flame's player, is another Black Canadian who should be on his way to the Hall of Fame. He's only a Stanley Cup away from cementing his Hall of Fame career.

    I wish you would try to learn and understand the game more, and how the NHL is working hard to give all people a chance to learn and love the sport. One day, I hope to see HBCU ice hockey teams competing in the NCAA Frozen Four, see Black Captain hoisting the Stanley Cup, and witness a changed attitude from the African American community to this very exciting, entertaining sport.

    A young American hockey fan

  2. Have you seen the Black Hockey Players Wall of Fame? It lists names, photos and stats of over 100 black men who have been drafted by or played in the NHL. Black Hockey Players Wall of Fame