Blog Entry

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

Posted on: September 27, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: September 27, 2011 12:50 pm

By Brian Stubits

Wayne Simmonds is going to have a hearing with NHL Vice President Colin Campbell regarding Monday night's on-ice incident with Sean Avery, according to

In the heated contest, cameras caught Simmonds yelling at Avery and it's pretty easy to read his lips (that includes some NSFW language). As a result, he'll be hearing from the league.

In this case he has to report to Campbell instead of new discipline chief Brendan Shanahan since it doesn't fall under Shanny's player safety umbrella. According to the CBA, Simmonds could only face a fine of up to $2,500 for the incident. One obstacle to a fine might be the lack of audio from the video just in case he was possibly saying something other than it what it clearly appears.

But that might not be the end of it. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is getting involved in the matter.

Here's GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson's statement:

"Hate speech and anti-gay slurs have no place on the ice rink. The word that Simmonds used is the same word that is hurled at LGBT youth on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility. He should not only apologize for this anti-gay outburst, but the Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL have a responsibility to take action and educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable."

GLAAD is in dialogue the Philadelphia Flyers as well as the National Hockey League (NHL) about specific next steps. Updates will be posted on as they become available.

Recently, GLAAD has worked with sports leagues including the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWE) to address issues of homophobia in sports.

To compare this to similar happenings in the past year, there were two high-profile cases in the NBA. Joakim Noah of the Bulls received a $50,000 fine for using the homophobic slur and Kobe Bryant was docked $100,000 for the same.

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke also spoke up about the incident. Burke, who's deceased son Brendan was gay, has been an ardent supporter of gay rights. While he hadn't yet seen the video, here's what he told Katie Strang of ESPN New York.

"That type of comment has no place in the game," Burke told when reached by telephone Tuesday morning.

"If that happened, that is just so embarrassing and the league should not tolerate it," Burke said. "That should be treated on the same level as a racially charged incident. It's the same level of offensiveness and inappropriateness.

"I think sometimes it reflects the habitual rather than the homophobic," he said. "Players reach into their back pocket and that's what they say, not necessarily meaning to target someone's sexuality."

But that does not make the use of the word acceptable, Burke said.

"That does not make it OK," he said. "It's got to stop."

After the game, Avery confirmed Simmonds threw offensive language his way while Simmonds wouldn't elaborate, only saying things were said in the heat of the battle.

It's a classic case of Avery being Avery. Here's a very NSFW (language) video from the game in which you can hear Avery yelling at somebody about him not wanting to have to kill Claude Giroux during the game.

So clearly Avery was up to his usual antics and they got to the Flyers, Simmonds in particular. The agitator is no saint in this story by any stretch. But that doesn't absolve Simmonds for crossing the line that has been established. No matter what the actual intent was behind Simmonds' use of the word doesn't make it acceptable. Much like Shanahan did to explain the new rules, the league sends out memos to teams every year explaining what is acceptable and what is not as far as language goes.

It is something said to be an insult. Echoing some of Burke's sentiments, no matter if Simmonds is actually trying to insinuate Avery is homosexual or using it in a non-sexual orentation manner, the intent to insult Avery remains. And the particular insult he used is offensive to a segment of the population.

I imagine Simmonds will have a full and sincere apology coming soon enough and hopefully that will be the end of it. I'm just ready for some good ol' hockey.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:57 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 5:39 pm
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Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 8:01 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

Hardly a foolish comment.
The point that you quite obviously missed was that there was not the uproar from the ACLU or the NAACP over the Simmonds incident.
Both incidents were beyond explanation, this one just seemed to get more unneccesary attention than the banana incident.

Since: Jul 21, 2010
Posted on: September 27, 2011 8:31 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

people should mind there own business. its name calling in the heat of battle. now the gay mafia gets involved.. gimme a damn break.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: September 27, 2011 8:14 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

Another example of the "woosification" of sports.  Can't handle a little name calling?  Get over it or find another profession.  Dress designing maybe... 

Since: Feb 1, 2007
Posted on: September 27, 2011 8:04 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

There were about 100 articles on the banana throwing, so you might want to read something before making such a foolish comment.  It quieted down quite quickly because Simmons manned up and rose above it. He didn't want to give an audience to the racist pig who threw the peel.

This is different in that it was an NHL player, not some dopey fan.  If they catch who threw the peel he or she could face some serious federal civil rights violation charges.


Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: September 27, 2011 7:53 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

How come there is this much coverage about this incident but nothing to the same level when Mr. Simmonds had banana's thrown at him during a recent shootout attempt?<br />If the comments were only intended for Mr. Avery then why is evryone getting all bent out of shape over it?<br />Granted there should be tolerance in the world but maybe, just maybe there are bigger things going on in the world that all of these organizations might be better off trying to address.<br />Have both parties issue apologies to each other and state that they will try to refrain from using such language again in the future.<br />Lastly, do you really think that kids who are being bullied in schools over their sexual orientation would even know, much less care about this?

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: September 27, 2011 7:36 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur


Thank God for football.  The NHL is the worst run organization in sports bar none!  They're going to monitor on-ice language because it might offend someone?  It's BS.  Is Brendan Shanahan going to come up with a video of this and tell Simmonds exactly where he went wrong?  I like hockey, but cannot stand the NHL. There is no such thing as war on the ice anymore.
If a guy on the ice calls you a name you don't like, bash his face in.  That's the way it used to be.  Now it is go tell mommy and daddy what the other player did, because bashing someone's face in might offend someone. 

the NHL is so WEAK.

Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: September 27, 2011 7:18 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

I've got no problem with the NHL calling Simmonds in on this one, as it behooves the league to keep this kind of behaviour off its ice. I have to wonder though, how many racial taunts Simmonds will hear this year that won't get someone a hearing. As long as the league is treating these two issues the same way -- zero tolerance for both homphobic and racial trash talking -- then we should be OK. If not ... then it's a very disappointing double standard.

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: September 27, 2011 7:02 pm

Simmonds to meet with NHL over use of gay slur

Thanks!  The politically incorrect dictionary is absolutely, wait, you weren't serious, were you?  I'd hate to think that you're Pathologically High-Spirited!

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