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Instant Classic Tainted by Racism in 2014


ihabs1993
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I think it’s completely fair to say that last night’s Bruins-Canadiens tilt was an instant classic. It had a bit of everything. Pretty decent hits, including a beautiful check from Patrice Bergeron on Rene Bourque that saved an odd man rush on a broken play. There was a fair amount of offense, as both teams combined for seven goals. And are the Stanley Cup Playoffs ever complete without a bit of late game heroics and incredible goaltending?

 

Yes, this game had it all. I would say that this game was perfect for the game of hockey with the exception of one glaring detail.

 

The hateful remarks made on social media and at TD Garden in Boston after P.K. Subban scored the game winning goal in the second overtime have sent civil rights back 50 years. I have never felt more disgust for anyone in my entire life as I did last night for the select few who sit behind their computers or their smart phones and spew the most violent, evil things that can ever be said to a human being.

 

To start, I first need to go back. Back to around January in a game against the Ottawa Senators, where Subban scored the game winner in an emotional overtime game. Upon scoring the goal, Subban celebrated by tugging on the CH on his chest. This is nothing truly unsportsmanlike, yet many news outlets ripped Subban for being too cocky. Don Cherry would say that he needs to quit doing this sort of thing so that he doesn’t make Canada look bad at the Olympics. Subban did not go out to center ice and pretend to defecate on the Senators logo, he merely embraced his own team’s logo.

 

Fast forward to Saturday, January 18th. Hockey Night in Canada game of the week against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After scoring what would turn out to be the game winner, James VanRiemsdyk openly mocked Subban’s celebration by tugging on the Maple Leaf on the front of his jersey.

 

Nothing would be said about this. Nothing.

 

Fast forward to last night. Subban scores the first goal of the second round, slipping a shot past goaltender Tuukka Rask from the point to put the Canadiens ahead. He did not celebrate whatsoever. He put his fist out for his teammates to bump, then skated off the ice.

 

Now let’s look at the Bruins’ goal celebrations. Reilly Smith’s was nothing. He merely hugged his teammate and skated off the ice. It’s the next two that bothered me. Upon tying the game, Torey Krug pounded his chest in what can only be described as an overexcited imitation of Tarzan. He wouldn’t be criticized by anyone. Next, Boychuk points about five or six times at the crowd. While not over the top, if this were Subban, it would be noteworthy.

 

Fast forward one more time (I promise) to the overtime game winner. Subban absolutely unleashes a bomb from the point that beats Rask. What does Subban do? Merely puts his hands in the air, and waits for his Canadien teammates to ambush his as he has just given his team a 1-0 series lead.

 

If Subban does what Krug does, do the Bruins complain about it?

Absolutely.

Double standard for sure.

 

Moving on to where the fans got a bit too far into the game. As Subban serves a minor penalty, fans bombard him with racial slurs and violent sentiments. Why weren’t these fans ejected from the game? If you have ever paid the outrageous price for NHL tickets, you have basically signed a contract saying I will not act obscenely at the game. Most of the time, stadium personnel look past the common curse as they know there’s really no way of getting everyone in an emotionally charged crowd to stop cursing, however this is where they need to draw the line.

As Subban and the rest of the Canadiens skated off the ice at the end of the game, they were bombarded by racial slurs yet again, but some have reported that physical objects were thrown as well. Why aren’t these people getting arrested for assault? Take away the aspect of a professional sporting event and put this situation on the street and this is assault. Period.

 

Today, Bruins president Cam Neely spoke out against the racism. Here are his comments:

"The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday's game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization."

 

I fully commend Neely in his efforts to stop this hate from spreading, but it needs to go further than this. I would say that this is enough, but unfortunately, this is not the first time that racism has been attached to the Bruins fan base. We all recall what happened with Joel Ward of the Capitals after his OT goal eliminated the Bruins from the playoffs. The Bruins need to be harder on their fans, especially when you have fans like this on Twitter:

 

First Attached file

 

What we need are more fans like this: @BradMarsh8_OnAir Give him a follow on Twitter

 

Second attached file

 

What needs to happen in this game is similar to what happened what Montreal booed the American anthem in a series against the Bruins in 2011. The Canadiens’ public address announcer preluded the national anthems by first listing all of the American players currently on the Canadiens roster. This list included Canadiens’ captain Brian Gionta.

The Bruins need to remind their “fans” that the first player of color that played in the NHL broke into the league with the Boston Bruins. I’m speaking, of course, of Willie O’Ree. They can also add that the Boston Bruins recently drafted P.K’s younger brother, Malcolm Subban, and he is currently playing goaltender for the Bruins’ affiliate in Providence.

One thing is clear.

The change will need to come from inside the Bruins organization. What Neely did was a start, but until every fan is like Brad On Air, we won’t be able to move forward from this ugly incident.

Side note: I am posting this in good faith that we can have a respectful conversation about the issue. I think in order to eradicate racism in our game, it needs to come from us; the fans who write about the game we love so much. Therefore, any comments that stem from racial inequalities or violence towards any human being based on race will be reported. Do not engage those who base their thoughts in states of anger or hate.

 

“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” –Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Thanks for reading

 

ihabs1993

 

#StopTheIgnorance

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@ihabs1993

 

Kudos to Neeley for coming out publicly like he did.

 

Even more Kudos to Subban for  turning the other cheek.  If that is not a sign of his maturation process I don't know what is.  Even with all of his on ice antics, his stock just went way up in my book.

 

As for the Boston fans...what else would you expect?  Great city but one of the more racist populations around.

 

Edit:  I wonder how Jarome Iginla feels about all this?

Edited by B21
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Personally, I find zero fault in Subban's logo tug celebration. In fact, I like it. Is it not taking attention away from the player and giving it to the team as a whole?

 

I thought the entire thing was overblown and stupid, but I'd argue that it should not be involved in the "racist" discussion. Many players take flak for celebrations from Donald S. Cherry. Players like Subban (with "attitude) will always get negative attention in this regard.

 

As someone from TSN once said (Jay Onrait I think?), apparently the only proper way to celebrate a goal is to hang your hands at your sides and feel shame.

 

As for the reaction to Subban's goal, it was disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful.

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Personally, I find zero fault in Subban's logo tug celebration. In fact, I like it. Is it not taking attention away from the player and giving it to the team as a whole?

 

I thought the entire thing was overblown and stupid, but I'd argue that it should not be involved in the "racist" discussion. Many players take flak for celebrations from Donald S. Cherry. Players like Subban (with "attitude) will always get negative attention in this regard.

 

As someone from TSN once said (Jay Onrait I think?), apparently the only proper way to celebrate a goal is to hang your hands at your sides and feel shame.

 

As for the reaction to Subban's goal, it was disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful.

But I think the aforementioned celebration is part of the racist discussion! Why does PK get blasted for doing it and JVR gets off without a single comment? Call it whatever you want, but I think ignoring the aspect of race on this one won't solve the problem

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But I think the aforementioned celebration is part of the racist discussion! Why does PK get blasted for doing it and JVR gets off without a single comment? Call it whatever you want, but I think ignoring the aspect of race on this one won't solve the problem

 

I mentioned it simply because Subban isn't the first and won't be the last to be blasted for celebrating, and it has nothing to do with the colour of his skin. JVR didn't get blasted for the crest tug because everyone knew why he did it and, frankly, it wasn't original.

 

For example, Alex Ovechkin and Nail Yakupov have taken how much criticism for their goal celebrations?

 

I'm not disagreeing with your point, though, I just think the celebration example is not a good one.

 

Hockey is dominated by white men, and people jump at the chance to discriminate. Race, gender...you name it.

Edited by Commander Clueless
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