Bajan gets racist stick
By Tony Best | Fri, April 27, 2012 - 12:03 AM
When Joel Ward, the son of Barbadian parents, scored the winning goal in overtime for the Washington Capitals that ousted the Boston Bruins from the 2012 National Hockey League (NHL) play-offs, several Bruins fans sought to steal his joy with racial slurs.
Moments after the black Bajan Canadian hit the back of the Bruins net in the seventh game of the play-offs and ended the season for last year’s Stanley Cup champions, Boston fans took to Twitter with racial epithets.
They ranged from “We lost to a hockey playing n . . . . What kind of s . . . is this” to “stupid n . . . . go play basketball. Hockey is a white sport”.
The use of the N-word was strongly condemned by Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who wrote on a blog: “What these people have said and done is unforgiveable. I hope they are now publicly identified and pay a huge price for their beliefs. There should be zero tolerance for this kind of hate-mongering.”
Ward’s agent Peter Cooney said the player, whose mother is a nurse and whose father, a mechanic, died several years ago after suffering a stroke while watching his son play junior hockey, had already put the ugly incident behind him.
“He’s put it in his back pocket, so to speak,” Cooney added.
“He knows he is going to have interviews and people talking about it. He’s heard about it, but he said, 'Peter, don’t worry – that stuff never bothered me’.”
Ward is among a handful of black professionals in the NHL.
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