Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Stick To Sports

I feel like Chef Ramsay right now. This has never been and never will be Political Blog In Canada, but there are times when sports really lets people down when it comes to major societal issues. Coronavirus aside, there have been bigger stories outside of sports happening, and one of those stories was the Derek Chauvin case in Minneapolis where former officer Chauvin was accused of killing George Floyd. I'm not going to get into the details of how that happened, but a verdict was returned by the jury today and Chauvin was found guilty in all three crimes with which he was charged.

The protests and clashes we saw across the US and into Canada over the treatment of Black men at the hands of law enforcement after Floyd's death is only a small part of the overall treatment of BIPOC individuals at the hands of law enforcement, and we need to be better as a society in calling out that systemic racism shown in police departments. It's not about "bad apples" or "a couple of bad seeds" in police departments; rather, this is about fixing a system that far too often targets BIPOC individuals and sees far too many needless tragedies.

Tonight, teams from across a number of professional sports leagues were publishing their statements on the events that unfolded in the Minneapolis courtroom today in order to show their solidarity with the BIPOC community. I'm not here to question the sincerity or the timing of these statements from teams and leagues because they are a part of society just as you and I are, but I do question whether teams discuss the wording they use prior to hopping on social media and publishing something like this:

I know the Winnipeg Jets are sending out a message of trying to have respectful, meaningful discussions that include the BIPOC community both within their organization and in society, but the very least they could do is frame the situation right. This was NOT "the case of George Floyd" - Floyd wasn't on trial in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin was on trial for the murder of George Floyd, and it should be described as "the case of Derek Chauvin". We don't use the victim's name when describing the trial out of respect for the victim and the victim's family and because George Floyd never had a chance to stand before a judge and make a case before the courts.

I can accept that this may be an honest mistake by someone in the Jets' public relations department since a lot of people did colloquially refer to the case as the "George Floyd case", but this should be corrected to show the proper resepct and dignity to George Floyd that was denied by Derek Chauvin before he died. Let's get that effort to correct this wording underway, Jets, because that would be a good move with respect to having "meaningful discussion and awareness" right off the hop.

If there is one bright spot out in gaining some education out of this, the Winnipeg Jets weren't even close to the extremely disgusting tweet that the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders put out tonight. I'm not going to post the image they had on that tweet because it's beyond insensitive, but let's just say that the Raiders, as a franchise, should be embarrassed by whoever green-lit this tweet, and the person that signed off on this social media post as well whoever came up with this idea should be fired with prejudice. Both from their jobs and directly into the sun.

Maybe just stick to sports from now on, Raiders.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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