I’ll be honest, and I’m not proud that I felt this way, but after watching Capitals forward Joel Ward – a black Canadian – score the game-winner in overtime against the Bruins last night, in Boston, I had a feeling that there might be some racial slurs tossed his way. That shouldn’t have been my knee-jerk reaction, but, having seen some of the antics of Bruins fans over the past few years (throwing condoms at our contributor Adam, jumping onto the ice, throwing bottles) and understanding that many of their supporters hail from Spooner Street, it’s the first thing that came to my mind.
And I wasn’t wrong.
One person, using Chirpstory, aggregated some of the Bruins (and hockey) fans’ responses, on Twitter, to Ward’s game-winner. Unfortunately, the term nigger was the descriptor of choice for the Caps forward.
Warning: it gets pretty ugly.
During the Penguins series, I had been alerted to similar Tweets about our own Wayne Simmonds. [You may remember that, during a preseason game, one Canadian jackass threw a banana at him.] To the credit of Penguins fans, who we are so very hard on, a Twitter search revealed maybe only one or two folks using the n-word (accounts since deleted, but living on through the magic of retweets). That’s one or two too many, but, unfortunately, there’s always going to be a few bigots in any crowd. So a couple of Tweets weren’t indicative of the entire fan base. And while the 40 or so Tweets above don’t speak for Bruins and hockey fans as a whole (one guy appears to be a Flyers fan), consider that what you read was just from the people stupid enough to attach their name (handle) to such hurtful words.