Quoted: Clinton Yates on Hockey’s Racism Issues

Joel Ward (r). Courtesy TheProvince.com

When Joel Ward scored the overtime winner for the Capitals to end the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins’ season, a wave of racist tweets surfaced. They ranged from casually offensive to viciously hateful. None were shocking. But they illustrated the latent sentiment that exists in many pockets of the fan base that hockey is a sport to be played and enjoyed by whites.

Being a black hockey fan can be a singular experience. You can feel the racial divide at games. So when Ward lit the lamp last night, yes, personally, it felt good to see a black man score such an important goal for the franchise.

It’s about time that the NHL tackled its race issues head-on. If the league wants to move forward as a brand, they need to recognize that they can do something about racism. When Kobe Bryant yelled a homophobic slur at a referee that was caught on camera, the NBA swiftly and justly fined him and then produced a PSA campaign against usage of the word. FIFA, the global soccer association, has very publicly taken a stance against racism from fans with some of the world’s most popular stars.
- From The Washington Post

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FIN6IQP2R5QWALHVUDALMTLXAM MST2010

    I’m not surprised.  Boston has a bad reputation when it comes to bigotry.  I’m old enough to remember the terrible riots they had over school busing in the 1970′s.  Those same people involved in the rioting, etc., probably have handed down their hatred to their children.

    I’m not saying everyone in Boston is a bad person, but it seems like its wicked racist.

  • Digital Coyote

    The NHL has a vested interest in pretending the presence of Ward, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Gomez, Jordin Tootoo, and others in the league cancels out any of the BS greats like Willie O’Ree and Grant Fuhr went through during their careers then and what players of color experience now.  I can only imagine what they go through if they come up through the backwater of minor league teams instead of the college system (not that academia is much better).  I mean, I only played recreationally in a big city when I was younger, but even I had reason to check the inside of my skates before I put them on.   

    It’s a game sold as something belonging to the (contiguous North) ”heartland” of America  and “real” Canadians; they are the only people that “truly understand” it.  Old dogs like Don Cherry are openly hostile to Europeans for not being authentic enough to the game.   I would not be surprised if PoC, even if they are North American, are given the same treatment in private because of our own history of being considered “inauthentic” socially and unable to play a “pure” game when compared to whites.