Ladies and gentlemen, this is a rant.
In the latest of what seems like the most trivial NHL pre-season ever, news surfaced Monday night that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds called New York Rangers pest Sean Avery a derogatory name following an on ice scuffle. Yes folks, one young man called a slightly older young man a bad word. I’m still gathering myself.
In case you didn’t click the link above, Simmonds allegedly called Avery a “Faggot.”
I’m not one to make assumptions, but I’m pretty sure it’s the first time something like this has ever happened.
I know. Name calling in the NHL — Ridiculous! As if this is actually a news story. I don’t even know what to say. I guess I should start by saying I’m pro-gay, whether you are a hockey player or not. As hockey fans, we’ve endured three excruciating months since the final game of the NHL season last year. We’re hockey starved. Technically the new season hasn’t even started and this is what the hockey world is all jazzed up about. The hell?
Again, I’m not anti-gay. I don’t condone Simmonds alleged comments, but are we seriously that up in arms about it? Between this and all the mind numbing headshot incidents, has anyone noticed hockey is being played? Great hockey at that. As a fan of hockey, can we not get back to the sport rather than worry about all the other crap?
This isn’t about derogatory words, hate statements, homophobic slurs, or anything else. Stuff like this is said in hockey all the time. Is it right? No. But let’s not act like all of a sudden we have a problem with this. It’s heat of the moment stuff. Players don’t think about being politically correct when in the heat of the moment. That’s it. This isn’t about being hateful or anti-gay.
This news story — which really shouldn’t be a story, by the way — is an excuse for people to call more attention to themselves. A lot of people have weighed in with their thoughts and opinions on this one. I question the sincerity of most of them. But I guess that’s another conversation altogether. Am I a jerk for calling this out? Probably. But I seriously doubt all those who are so offended by Simmonds comments are that much more moral than me.
Now that we’ve got this out, can we get back to hockey now? Please?