Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wayne Simmonds banana-throwing incident is Canada's shame

Last Thursday's banana-throwing incident in London, Ontario was picked up by media outlets around the globe. Even non-hockey markets picked up the story. Fortunately the game wasn't televised so the stories were not accompanied by video clips. Below is an amateur video by a fan at the game.

Obviously the banana thrower thought he was being funny. He probably thinks he's not a racist. One thing for sure - he is incredibly insensitive. The incident is extremely hurtful to Simmonds, his teammates and other non-white players in the NHL and other leagues. It is an embarrassment to all Canadians.

London Mayor Joe Fontana released a statement:

"As Mayor, and on behalf of Londoners, I am sending an apology to Wayne Simmonds and the Philadelphia Flyers organization regarding the incident at last night's exhibition game. It was a stupid and mindless act by a single individual, however it reflects badly on our entire community. London is a diverse and welcoming city and we like it that way."

Simmonds released his own statement indicating that he wanted to put this incident behind him. He also acknowledged that racism "really doesn't happen in Canada."

Unfortunately the culprit was never caught because fans in the section refused to cooperate with security staff.

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