3 Cheers for Joel Ward


3 Cheers for Joel Ward

April 27, 2012

As a New York Rangers fan, hating rivals like the Boston Bruins or The New York Islanders is a part of the game and as such I was happy to see the Washington Capitals knock the Bruins out of the Stanley Cup on Thursday night with an overtime goal scored by Joel Ward. What I did not know until I saw the post-game interviews was that Ward is black. Since there are not many black hockey players, I noticed the color of his skin, but only as an interesting rarity and in no way in any negative perspective. I was therefore surprised and totally disgusted a day later to read news articles reporting the racist comments that Ward has received, especially coming from social networking sites like Twitter.

Joel Ward entered my consciousness as a marginal player that I had never heard of (I don’t see much of the Nashville Predators where Ward played before coming to the Caps) who made a splash with his series winning goal and a then day later is suddenly the center of a racist whirl storm as bigots and twitter toting idiots across North America took aim at the man who had the nerve to be a black minority player in a game dominated by Caucasians. To Ward’s great credit, he has responded with tremendous class and integrity. He has stated that he is not concerned about the follies of an ignorant minority and that his experience in hockey has been almost entirely positive. Ward’s reaction shows a generous spirit and a mature attitude that his racist hecklers would do well to emulate.

The National Hockey League and the Boston Bruins organization have both condemned that racist tweets and declared that there is no room in hockey for this type of obnoxious behavior. Anybody expressing such a mean spirited attitude, especially from the faceless vantage point of anonymous internet commentary, should be ashamed. This seems so obvious as to not be necessary to write, but apparently there are still ignorant oafs out there that are willing to show the world how stupid they are by expressing these kinds of sentiments. We can only hope that Joel Ward has given the world a visible example of classy behavior, which is worthy of respect and which will be emulated. Thank you Joel!

And I would add “Go Caps!” except I am a Rangers fan and the Caps are now the rival team in round 2 of the Cup. So……sorry Joel, but I hope you don’t score any more goals this season. Even though you are a new hero, I still want the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.

Categories : Hockey