Far-right extremists like to pretend that racism no longer exists, while far-Left extremists exploit racism (whether real or imagined) for their own sordid, leftwing agenda. That said, considering the overwhelming lack of black players and the presence of their ever pristine, all-white fans, I've long suspected hockey to be a racist sport on par with the likes of NASCAR racing. Well, not only is Boston still a racist sports town, but when it comes to ice hockey suspicions were correct:
As Joel Ward’s Washington Capitals teammates swarmed their new hero after his playoff series-winning goal against the NHL’s defending champions Wednesday night, more sinister emotions were swirling on social media.
A number of people took to Twitter with racist comments, calling Ward – one of about 20 black men currently on National Hockey League rosters – the N-word.
Perhaps to those tweeters’ surprise, someone collected 40 of those tweets and put them in one place: Chirpstory, a site where one can aggregate other people’s Twitter posts for posterity.
The posts included:
– “Haha that (slur) actually did something.”
– “The fact that a (slur) got the goal makes it ten times worse.”
– “We lost … To a hockey playing (slur)…. What kind of (expletive) is this.”
To what should be no one’s surprise, the posts caught the attention of sports celebrities and media Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
“Despite a black president, things haven't changed,” sports columnist and ESPN “First Take” contributor Rob Parker tweeted Thursday morning.
“Thought times have changed? Is this real?” former Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington tweeted.
The offensive tweets came after Ward, a 31-year-old right wing, followed up one of his teammates’ shots and backhanded the rebound past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, lifting the Capitals to a 2-1 overtime win against the host Boston Bruins in the seventh and final game of their first-round playoff series.
As the collection of offensive tweets made its way through social media – Canadian broadcaster CTV was among the media outlets to notice them early – some of the people behind the original posts started shying away from the growing attention. By late Thursday morning, several of the tweeters in the Chirpstory collection had removed or hidden their Twitter accounts.
Others still had the posts on their own Twitter pages, and still others had removed the original posts but added posts either ridiculing the angry reaction they were getting or saying that they aren’t racist.
The National Hockey League, the Capitals and the Bruins also took notice.
"The racially charged comments distributed via digital media following last night's game were ignorant and unacceptable," the NHL said Thursday. "The people responsible for these comments have no place associating themselves with our game."