Well this is just sad.
During an exhibition game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, which was being played in London, Ontario, a fan, and we use that term as loosely as possible in this situation, in the upper deck threw a banana peel at Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who is black, as he skated during a shootout attempt in his team's 4-3 loss.
Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News caught up with Simmonds following the game, and the 23-year-old forward, who was acquired by Philadelphia over the summer in the Mike Richards trade, took the high road.
From the Daily News:
"I caught it from the side of my eye," Simmonds said. "It was a banana. Hopefully, that wasn't directed towards me being black.Sure, I suppose there's a .00000001 percent chance that the fan that threw it did so without some sort of racial intent behind it, but of all the players to throw something at, and of all the objects to throw on the ice (and you shouldn't be throwing anything, of course), there's no way that was just a coincidence. Seravalli also reports that the fan was not caught.
"Because if it was, that's just somebody being ignorant...
When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like that," he said. "Over the past 23 years of my life, I've come to expect some things like that. But I'm older and more mature now, I kind of just left things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that."
Simmonds ultimately scored on his shootout attempt, even with the distraction. He also scored a goal during regulation, tying the game at three with just 53 seconds remaining in the third period.