Pro Hockey Player Gets In on the NBA's Homophobic Action

sean averywayne simmondsSeems like Kobe Bryant's homophobic slur outburst this past spring and the public punishment that followed didn't teach all pro athletes a lesson. Specifically, Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds, the latest player to run his mouth and get swept up in a nasty name-calling scandal. During the first period of a preseason game between the Flyers and the New York Rangers last night, Simmonds hurled the ever-popular "f***-ing [gay slur]" at the Rangers' Sean Avery. The two had been verbally sparring ever since they had a physical confrontation at the beginning of the game. Crazily enough, this comes after Simmonds himself was the target of a shameful display of racism from a fan last week!

Now, Simmonds is claiming he has no recollection of everything he said to Avery, but he hasn't outright denied calling him the nasty slur.

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He admitted:

Honestly, we were going back and forth for a while there. I don't recall everything that I did say to him but he said to me some things I didn't like and maybe I said some things that he didn't like.

Hmmm ... I actually find it especially unnerving that Simmonds can't "remember" what he said. It's like spewing something so vile in the heat of the moment is second nature. He's not actually conscious of what's coming out of his mouth, because it's so ingrained in him that it's okay. But it's NOT. 

Yeah, I get it. Hockey is a rough, intense sport, and players get insanely fired-up during game play. But that's no excuse for them to stop thinking about the words coming out of their mouths. Or to forget that they're being PAID to play a sport while conducting themselves in a respectful manner. It's not just something they're doing for fun with some buddies on a Saturday morning. It's their job. Can you imagine someone in your office calling a co-worker a "f---ing [gay slur]"? OMG, at best, you'd be sent to HR for a major lecture and a write-up or something. At worst, you'd be fired. There's no excuse for not being fully conscious of that kind of language.

With hope, the NHL knows they can't take this lightly. Simmonds will be meeting with the NHL to discuss the on-ice incident involving Avery, and he may face a $2,500 fine. I fully support that punishment plus a public apology as the minimum. Sports organizations must show they have zero tolerance for this kind of language from athletes. Anything less would be setting a terrible precedent, making it seem okay for incidents like this to continue to occur. 

How do you think Simmonds should be punished?


Images via NHL.com

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