Saturday, May 22, 2010

Racism has no place in Canada's game

I know that strictly speaking this is not a political issue, and I am ostensibly a political correspondent. But this is such an important issue to anyone who values the kind of multicultural society that we have aspired to create in this country, that I feel it must be seriously addressed by thinking people of all political stripes.

For those who think blatantly racist displays are a thing of the past in our society, I give you exhibit A: two imbeciles who thought it witty to appear at last Thursday’s hockey game between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens, wearing black face paint and afro wigs in a backward attempt to show their support for Hab’s defensemen P.K. Subban, an African Canadian who has been involved in a few games in the NHL this season, but was recently sent down to the minors to play the for the Hamilton Bulldogs again.

I defy any decent person to look at this picture and not be disgusted by the ignorance these two men happily expressed, not only to those in the crowd that night, but to the millions of viewers around the world. To add insult to injury, the two men were given a brief brush with fame by the producers of RDS (the French language TSN), when the camera cut to them during the game, for what felt like an eternity, and the commentators failed to denounce what they saw (perhaps due to their confusion).

Imagine the irrevocable damage this will do to our image as city of ethnic diversity and tolerance, welcoming to all. Is this the message that we want to send new Canadians in this country: you may assimilate. You may even play our national sport. But we reserve the right to mock your physical appearance!

I truly hope that the Montreal Canadians Organization will release a statement addressing this matter and making it clear that these two fools do not, in any, way, shape or form, represent the team or its fans. Perhaps that will get people talking about this troubling situation, at least. Failing that, will somebody arrange sensitivity training for these clowns involving former Hab’s enforcer George Laraque?

The Future is Unwritten

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