Racism and Homophobia – Redux or Ridiculous?

Wayne Simmonds is black. He’s a wonderful hockey player. I know because he played most of his junior hockey for a team I follow. Recently, he’s in the news for a couple of totally absurd reasons:

1) Someone threw a banana on the ice in London while Wayne was playing;

2) Sean Avery (of all people) accused him (Wayne) of “calling Avery a homophobic slur”.

Follow-up news to 1) includes a “continuing investigation” and London police being hot on the trail of the banana thrower (but, as with the G8 and G20 rioters, of course, this is an extremely time-consuming process).

No one has made clear whether Simmonds called Avery a “homophobic slur” or whether he called him (something) that is a homophobic slur. I’m not sure whether it’s encouraging or ridiculous (probably the latter) that we live in an environment where the press is too “sensitive” to report what was actually said, allowing us  to decide for ourselves if it was either ‘homophobic’ or a ‘slur’. (Surely, if no particular gay person was singled out for ridicule, contempt or criticism, it wouldn’t be, you know, ‘hurtful’ to do so.)

Getting back to the banana, the lawyer in  me is intrigued as to what the instigator of the projectile might be charged with – possibly “Dissemination of racist fruit”?; “Careless concept-association hurtful speech?” (Wait! Neither of those are actually crimes yet – but not because the Orwellians aren’t trying – so I guess it’ll have to be some contrived property offence, suitably bent beyond all recognition.)

Sean Avery. Now, there’s a “victim” for you – a loud and foul-mouthed lout who’s perhaps the only NHL player to be suspended and committed to mandatory counselling for his own utterances. So, what happened here? Did the counselling “take” so well that Sean is now a speech policeman?  Or is he just a whiny little bitch about being called, you know, a “homophobic slur”?

This entry was posted in Thinking out loud. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.