In case you missed it, Wayne Simmonds was not given a suspension for screaming a homophobic slur at Sean Avery during Monday night’s preseason game. Apparently, Simmonds “forgot” what he said immediately after the game, but then somehow remembered during his disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. When he “remembered”, he said he did not use a slur at all. In fact, he was just asking Avery if he wanted to get some ice cream with him after the game. Nice gesture, right?
So, the NHL listened to Simmonds, and decided he was right, and issued no suspension for the winger. After all, it was just him asking Avery to get ice cream and discuss their difference. But alas, there is video proof of this:
Funny how the refs say they didn’t hear anything, but there’s a zebra who goes and talks to him just one second after Simmonds ends his rant. Maybe he whispered it?
The NHL dropped the ball on this one. How can you possibly say that nothing happened? I mean…come on…really? Which blind guy reviewed this? Kobe Bryant got fined $100,000 for using the same slur, and Simmonds got nothing even remotely close.
But here’s the kicker: I’m willing to bet my savings account that if this were directed at anyone other than Avery, there would have been a huge fine and suspension. But because it’s Avery, and his reputation precedes him, there was no penalty. Amazing how the off-ice decisions mirror the on-ice decisions. But that’s a story for a different day.
Listen, Avery is no angel. He has said and done way too many questionable things to get the benefit of the doubt. However, this doesn’t even need the benefit of the doubt, this is clear-cut. This isn’t about Avery, this is about the NHL essentially telling the world that you can’t have any discrimination for race, but discrimination for homophobia is just A-OK. They should be one in the same. Both are egregious acts of intolerance and ignorance, and should be punished the same way.
Good job dropping the ball, Colin Campbell. You just undid everything that Brendan Shanaban did in the past week with one poor decision.