After their disappointing Game 1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL playoffs, many Bruins fans took to social media to lament the missed opportunity in the 4-3 double-overtime loss. Most of the tweets and other remarks were perfectly respectful (if frustrated), though a sinister group took aim at P.K. Subban, the Montreal defenseman who scored the winning goal. Using the n-word, they vented their frustration in the most tasteless and terrible way possible. A day later, they’ve inspired a massive backlash, starting with regular fans (outraged that fellow Bruins fans would react in such a despicable way), and continuing through the Bruins organization, right up through a response from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
This is a disgrace. These racist comments are not reflective of Boston, and are not reflective of Bruins fans. I’ve said before that the best hockey in the world happens when the Bruins and Canadiens play each other, and there is no room for this kind of ignorance here. Yesterday Mayor Coderre and I made a friendly wager on the series, and we closed the conversation by wishing each other the best. I would hope that fans on both sides would follow this example.
The Bruins organization also responded along similar lines, as Cam Neely told the media:
The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara also spoke out against the racially offensive words:
There’s no room in the game for these kind of comments or Twitter [comments], for sure. It’s not anything to do with our organization or the way we feel. P.K. is obviously a very good player and the face of the Montreal Canadiens organization, and for sure, [the comments are] very disappointing. Like I said, there’s no room for comments or action like this in any kind of game or sports or anywhere else.
Probably the best illustration of how ignorant the fans responsible for racist tweets truly are is found in the fact that Subban’s brother, Malcolm, is a goaltender in the Bruins minor league organization. So when they hurl racist tweets at a Bruins rival, they’re only insulting their own team. Of course, such a truly idiotic group of people don’t realize things like this, otherwise they would stop clinging to such a flawed and hurtful mindset.
Image via Wiki Commons CC 2.0