Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Faggots and bananas
Awfully decent of New York Ranger Sean Avery to champion the gay pride cause; too bad he did so by tacitly endorsing racism.
The timing of Avery's claim that Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds called him a faggot during an NHL exhibition game two nights ago is more than a little suspect, coming less than a week after someone threw a banana on the ice while Simmonds, who's black, was taking a penalty shot. Simmonds says he doesn't recall dropping the homophobic f-bomb on Avery, but whether he did or not, a lot of things get said in the heat of the moment during hockey games, and it has ever been thus. That doesn't excuse it, but there's no comparison between an overt act of racism openly witnessed by thousands of people and a name-calling incident that was localized to the hockey players within earshot for whom trash talk long ago became the accepted soundtrack of their professional lives. As one of the game's most despised players, Avery has probably been called a lot worse, and his own record of inappropriate comments and sociopathic behavior hardly make him a credible witness against anyone else.
Avery can try all he wants to take the moral high ground, but by calling out Simmonds within days of the banana tossing incident, he's suggesting Simmonds had it coming to him, which is as reprehensible as the act itself, and far more offensive than any amount of name-calling.