There are not a lot of black hockey players in the NHL and after Thursday nights game in Ontario, Canada I can understand why. Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyer’s was participating in a exhibition game shootout against the Detroit Red Wings when a fan threw a banana peel at him.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Simmonds was heading towards the goal during the shootout when he says:
“I caught it from the side of my eye,” while adding, “It was a banana. Hopefully, that wasn’t directed towards me being black.”
While it’s hard to tell the exact intentions of the fan who was not questioned, Simmonds own players quickly came to his defense with one player revealing:
“I would have went and kicked that fan’s ass myself,” adding, “That’s just not right.”
While stadium security didn’t catch the party responsible, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was quick to condemn the action, saying in a statement:
“The obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario.”
The NHL definitely isn’t Disney on ice but it’s at least nice to see the quick reactions the league had in condemning even the hint of racist actions taken by a fan.