Monday, 15 February 2010

Keep Your Mouth Shut

When fans meet players in a hockey rink, the result is usually an autograph and maybe a picture. However, when fans meet players within the confines of the rink, the results are usually bad for the fan. Lots of times, things are said in the heat of the moment between fans and players, and occasionally a player will respond with some yapping of his own. I've seen it happen in real-life, and it's normally quite harmless as long as both the fans and players are respectful. However, what transpired in Winnipeg on Friday night is good for neither the player or the fans, and there needs to be something done by the Moose after the AHL suspended a Toronto Marlies' player.

Andre Deveaux, a player who has had several brushes with the AHL brass before, threw a roll of tape at a fan in Winnipeg as he sat on the bench. The reason for doing so, according to reports, is that the fan used a racial slur towards Deveaux. Deveaux was born in the Bahamas, and is of darker skin.

While I'll never condone a hockey player throwing a roll of tape, or anything else for that matter, at a fan, whoever this fan is should be taken to task by the fans sitting around him or her as well as the Manitoba Moose hockey club. There is no room in society for racial slurs whatsoever, and using one against Deveaux is in absolutely poor taste.

Should Deveaux be suspended? Yes. Again, there's is no reason good enough to throw anything at a fan in the stands. I don't care what was said, Deveaux was in the wrong to engage the fan in the means he did. However, his suspension shouldn't be more than a few games. I'm quite certain that Deveaux knows he did wrong, but he reacted poorly in the heat of the moment. Because of that, he should sit for a couple of games, even as just as an example for the rest of the AHL in situations like this.

The fan who uttered the slur? He should be banned from MTS Centre for the rest of the AHL season. There is not one reason whatsoever to use a racial slur towards anyone.

Again, we live in a civilized society. Canada is not only tolerant of other cultures, but we encourage everyone to continue to be proud of their cultures and to celebrate traditions and events from that culture. Heck, Winnipeg even hosts the largest multicultural event each year in Folklorama. Yet here we sit talking about some moron in the MTS Centre crowd who has to go and show his stupidity in the worst of ways.

I am pleading with the fans who were sitting around the person that uttered the slur to speak out against this person. Winnipeg is one of the most multiculturally-diverse cities in Canada, and there is no reason for any fan - check that, any human being - to say something as vile as this person did to Deveaux.

To Andre Deveaux, I apologize on behalf of the fans in attendance who booed you because you do your job so well. We dislike you in Winnipeg because you're a menace against our team, but I assure you that we'd kill to have you in Moose colours. Please don't treat this isolated incident as a reflection of all the fan in Manitoba. I assure you that we boo you because of how good you are.

While I doubt the person that uttered the racial slur will read this, do the right thing and issue an apology to Deveaux. It doesn't have to be public, but do the right thing and apologize for what you said.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Bug said...

Hey whats up, Nice Blog. ugh I haven't hit a Marlies or a Leafs game since I was like 7 and I'm 21 now thats sad hey.
WHo the heck throws junk at a fan? It's just stupid.
You don't even get that from Peterbrough Fans when the Gens are kickin thier Ass and the pete's are like the most violent bunch on the ice and thier hockey moms are no exception.
I'm just firing up my blog. I have a few. I want to add one with more a canadian element.