Yes, this article was a little different when first posted, but after some feedback and consideration, I've changed it. I wish it had been like this in the first place. That's life.
We've got a problem. We're not the only ones, but we have the problem.
The problem is racists among the fanbase.
To the majority of the fanbase, we can enjoy that we have a great team in a great league playing a great sport, and that there are absolutely incredible players from all over the world that look different. It's a wonderful, beautiful thing, and we're lucky to have it.
To a few, however, this isn't enough. I don't get how it works, but they have to turn a bit of bad luck in a hard-fought contest by the best damn hockey players in the world into an excuse to show off how racist they are. And the rest of us hold our breath. For, you see, we've seen it before. The city of Boston, as great as it is, has a long and sordid history of racism that should not sit well with anyone. We try to do some things to fix it, but almost certainly not enough. Just ask the Boston Housing Authority. There's no excuse.
We, the trying-not-to-be-racist majority, have a few options in this frustrating situation:
- We can sit quietly and hope nobody notices what a few people are tweeting or putting on facebook or what-have-you. This doesn't work, because it's happened before.
- We can attempt to quiet the people that we know are looking for this sort of thing. This is silly-at-best on a number of levels.
- We can stand up to those racists.
When you lay it out like that, the path forward becomes obvious.
We applaud Cam Neely for taking the time - knowing that making a statement makes this news that will get picked up in the national media - for denouncing these so-called fans. He doesn't have to do it and it creates a distraction for a team down 1-0 in a playoff series. But it was the right thing to do.
Those of you who have been here before know that we don't tolerate that sort of behavior on the blog. We shouldn't tolerate it anywhere else. Stanley Cup of Chowder thinks that PK Subban is a real good (like, really really good) player for Montreal and we hate him for it just like we did Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, Maurice Richard, Saku "No Cups" Koivu, and a whole host of others. Secretly, or not-so-secretly, some of us wish he was on literally any other team so we could root for him.
However, there is no excuse for racism. We're all people. It shouldn't matter how much pigment is in someone's skin. Be better to each other. If we can all do that, maybe we can enjoy all of the good nonsense in a playoff series without the bad nonsense. If you can't root for the Bruins without being racist, kindly stop rooting for the Bruins. This guy gets it:
@NHLBruins hey "fans" #StopTheIgnorance @PKSubban1 #BruinsVsHabs #GoBruins pic.twitter.com/hTfceqEIvE— brian dailey (@realbriandailey) May 2, 2014
This goes far beyond any game, especially in Boston.
Thank you for reading.