The very first post on this blog was of a youtube clip of a classic game where the players on the bench were yelling at a guy from the opposing as he lined up for a face off. The language they were using was… salty. It was an entire salt lick worth of salty. It’s was kind of hacky to start that way, but this was five years ago, and I had no idea what hockey blogging looked like (still don’t). In fact, here is the long version of it (NSFW language, so there):
Yep, those were the days. Maybe it’s better to say that these are the days, since there is video of Wayne Simmonds yelling a slur at Sean Avery that rhymes with maggot and is a homophobic slur. Alright, he is alleged to have called Avery a ‘faggot.’ If you want to hear it what that word sounds like, it’s about 5 seconds into the video above. And at 52 seconds. And a bunch of other stuff.
And the Simmonds video? Sure looks like he called someone (Sean Avery, supposedly) a ‘faggot.’ (oh no, I typed it again)
That’s right, looks like. Because while you can see Simmonds say something that looks like ‘faggot,’ you can’t hear what he says. Right now, it’s he said, he said, and I doubt it will be much more than that. The league could make a stink about it, but unless someone else (like the linesman that was right there) corroborates Sean Avery’s story, the league will probably let this go, with maybe a phone call to say, off the record, watch the language.
Am I giving Simmonds a pass? Obviously not. “Faggot” is one of those words that still gives people fits about its usage. For a smart conversation about the word, listen to this conversation with Louis CK about using it in his comedy on Fresh Air. Go to the 11:35 mark for the talk.
Here is Louis CK using the word in his comedy, and talking about what it means to him. NSFW language, but if you didn’t know that by now, you probably don’t know what NSFW means.
My question is whether this would be getting as much attention if not for this past week’s banana throwing incident at a Flyers preseason game. If Wayne Simmonds hadn’t been the target of a racist act, would he be as scrutinized as he is here? With as much as the denizens of the internet love irony and bringing people down a peg, I’m guessing not. While Simmonds did a mature thing in turning the other cheek at a stupid act in London, Ont, it’s foolish of us to expect him to be a saint for it. He is just a man, and one who plays hockey at that.
I think I summed up my feelings last night rather succinctly: