Joel Ward should be feeling like a hero right now. Ward hit the game winning shot on Wednesday night to clinch the series, ending the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup hopes and sending the Washington Capitals to the next round. But instead of getting praised for his clinch play, Ward has been subjected to racial slurs.
According to several people on Twitter, hockey is a “white person’s” sport. Hockey fans, presumably Boston Bruins fans, repeatedly used the N-word to refer to Ward and used hashtags like #gobacktoafrica, #gobacktobasketball, and #fuckhim. (You can some of the worst tweets related to Joel Ward here.)
Ward, 31, told USA Today that he saw the tweets but said that they “didn’t ruin his day.” Ward said:
“I think it is just kids… It has no effect on me whatsoever. I’ve been playing this game long enough and I’ve not had any encounters of that nature.”
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis isn’t as calm about the situation. Leonsis wants the Twitter users to be publicly identified. Leonsis said:
“There should be zero tolerance for this kind of hate mongering… Their messages should now stay glued into the algorithms to place a forever warning and a mark upon these people and their actions. They shouldn’t be able to escape their keystrokes. Shame on these folks who decided to take to their keyboards and show their ignorance and their racism and hate.”
The Bruins official Twitter page also scolded their fans for making racist comments against Ward.
“The Bruins are very disappointed by the racist comments that were made following the game last night. These classless, ignorant views are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization.”
Here’s a video of Joel Ward sending the Washington Capitols to the next round.