Bruins brass, fans denounce racist comments
Published Friday, May 2, 2014 12:55PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 2, 2014 6:23PM EDT
Boston Bruins management, players and fans are denouncing racist comments targeting African-Canadian defenceman P.K. Subban made on social media following Thursday’s game
Subban scored twice, including the winning goal in double overtime, to propel the Habs to a 4-3 win over the host Bruins Thursday.
Team president and longtime former Bruin player Cam Neely issued a statement denouncing a number of overly racist comments made on Twitter.
"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," team president Cam Neely said Friday in a statement.
Players on both teams both expressed disgust with the comments.
"He's a good player," said Bruin defenceman Zdeno Chara, "It's very disappointing."
His teammate Kevan Miller said, "It's unfortunate that there's some people who feel that way, that's not what we're about."
Subban's teammate Thomas Vanek called the comments, "very inappropriate," but added, "it will only make him stronger."
Another of Subban's hockey confidantes said that P.K. doesn't worry much about such things.
"He understands that those are opinions are of people who don’t matter. He doesn't care about it, he goes on with his life," said Habs' forward Brendan Gallagher.
Coach Michel Therrien didn't take it as lightly. "I'm shocked to hear those kinds of comments," he said Friday.
Boston fans also denounce racist views
Some Boston fans also took the time to denounce the racist comments, including Brian Dailey, who tweeted a photo of himself holding a variety of written messages, including that read, “Hey Bruins fans, Subban’s talent beat us, not his skin color. Take off the B’s jersey, you’re a disgrace to our colors.”
Other hockey fans took to Twitter to counter the attacks.
“Boston Strong? I think not. Boston SHAME more like it,” user @calwhitejr tweeted. “Oh and his brother plays on your farm team. #whitesonly.”
Indeed, Subban’s younger brother, Malcolm, is a goalie prospect in the Bruins’ organization. He was drafted by the team in 2012 and currently plays for Bruins’ farm team in Providence, R.I.
Veteran forward Jarome Iginla is also spending what are likely the last few years of his career with the Bruins.
Ironically, the National Hockey League’s first black hockey player was Willie O’Ree, who played right wing for the Bruins.
Subban’s own Twitter account was quiet Friday, except for a tweet with a link to the latest video in a series he is filming with a sports network.
One fan interviewed by CTV Montreal in Boston said that the comment doesn't represent a popular viewpoint.
"That obviously doesn't represent everyody here," he said.
Some of the objectionable comments at the centre of the controversy included such tweets as:
“That stupid n----- doesn’t belong in hockey,” Twitter user @Ksayers12 tweeted, using the hashtag #whitesonly.
Another user, @Dylan_4life, tweeted: “I hate that N----- P.K. Subban.”
Some of those who made racist comments apologized, some deleted their tweets, while some others said that their comments were just meant in jest.
Early in the game, NDP MP Paul Dewar noted the Boston fans’ incessant booing of Subban.
“Is it me or is troubling to others that the only player being booed during the Habs Bruins game is PK Subban? #habs,” Dewar tweeted.
Game 2 is scheduled to be played Saturday at TD Garden at 12:30 p.m.