Monday, October 3, 2011

Slugs and Bad Behaviour

Today's stormy weather (leftovers from hurricane Ophelia) pushed some toasty weather at us on Friday and Saturday. We reached a balmy 22C (74F) over the week end. Yes, for Newfoundland THAT is balmy. We've reverted back to normal temps as we dropped down to a misty 10C yesterday (50F).

Mr. Squishy, and friends
The weather yesterday and today has been damp enough to bring out slugs on to the front walk. They are actually 'miniatures'...only about 1/2" long. There was a tiny snail as well, about the size of a pinkie nail. It makes what I call the "Double S Shuffle" to the driveway a bit treacherous...nobody wants to hear that cracking sound beneath their foot while walking. A little bomb going off. Worse yet, you don't want to look back to see that the slug you thought you had narrowly avoided has mysteriously disappeared  *peeks under foot*.

All this talk about cool weather and slimy things has me thinking about a couple of incidents of 'bad behaviour' in the hockey world recently (this IS a blog by a Canadian are you NOT going to hear about hockey on a semi-regular basis?). 

Here is a link to a story by a sports writer who received a racist message on his answering machine. The message was not directed at him per se, but at the management of the new Winnipeg Jets franchise for its having 5 black players on the team. The caller spewed a lot of 'Feks' and 'N-Words' in his rant. He apparently was miffed because he could not get tickets to a game and took it out on the sports writer for some reason....

In a similar tone, about two weeks ago the Philadelphia Flyers were playing an exhibition game against Detroit in my old home town of London, Ontario. The game went to a shoot out and as the Flyer's Wayne Simmonds skated towards the net for a shot, a banana was thrown on the ice in front of him from the upper deck. I should add here that I probably attended over 100 Knights games while living in London and never once saw any sort of fruit be tossed onto the ice. Let alone a banana as a black player was shooting the puck. The player ignored the racist insult, by the way, and scored on his shot. Link to story here.

There was a lot said in the media about the incident, both nationally and internationally. I have heard some talk reflecting the notion that it really wasn't THAT big a deal. Right...

London is a conservative city, and the incident speaks to the racist tones  that lie just beneath the murky surface of civility. Both the banana and racist call incidents may be isolated cases of A-holes popping out of the slime, but they really indicate a racist sentiment still plaguing society. I think that this giant 'melting pot' needs a stirring.

On a side note...the 26 year old banana thrower in London was identified. The police felt that his actions did not warrant a hate crime but he was "...served a summons for engaging in a prohibited activity under the provincial Trespass to Property Act." That and the arena may ban him for a season or longer. Ouch! That slap on the wrist must really hurt. Though the man has retained a lawyer...

Second side note...Wayne Simmonds, the target of the banana thrower, was involved in his own scandal just days later in an exhibition game with the New York Rangers. Simmonds was in a scuffle with Ranger's tough-guy Sean Avery when Simmonds uttered a homophobic slur against Avery (yet another story link). For those of you who are unaware, Avery became something of an advocate for the gay rights movement when he endorsed marriage equality in the state of New York earlier this year. I guess that Simmonds didn't like that and spoke his mind in the heat of battle.

So much bad behaviour occurring around this simple game of putting a rubber disk into a net. It seems to me that folks have got to give their heads a shake and start growing the hell up. Behaviour on the ice and around the ice should be no different than in any other segment of society. People have got to get the message out that this sort of behaviour has never been acceptable, is not acceptable and never will be acceptable.

*Gets off soap box*

I'll close with a final link to a story by long-time sports writer Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press after the banana incident. The article is titled 'Silence can be Racism."

Well said, Morris.


Laurita said...

So much hate - racism, homophobia, objections to slugs and snails *shakes head*

Double S Shuffle made me lol. :D

Gigi said...

Sadly, this type of behavior isn't limited to just hockey or Canada. It's everywhere.

I just don't understand it.

John Wiswell said...

That is a... really weird thing to do when you can't get tickets.