Blog Entry

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:58 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 3:25 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

Florida Panthers forward Krys Barch was given a game misconduct in the team's New Year's Eve victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the end of the first period. Why he was booted remained a mystery until after the game when it was revealed the reason for his ejection was his use of a racial slur toward Habs defenseman P.K. Subban.

After the hearing was delayed for a couple of days (the Panthers haven't played a game since then), the NHL announced on Thursday that Barch was suspended one game for insensitive remarks.

Notice the use of the language. Insensitive remarks instead of racial slur. Barch was adamant that what he said wasn't racist. Barch told Jesse Spector of the Sporting News that Colin Campbell didn't see it as racial.

"If there was any question that this was racial, you'd be done five to 10 games, and [the decision] would be done the day after," Barch said, quoting Campbell.

"I never would ever say anything unjust or racial toward somebody else," Barch told Sporting News.

As for what he said, we'll never know for sure. But Jeff Marek of Sportsnet reported that it was something along the lines of "did you slip on a banana peel?" after Subban fell to the ice following a scrum.

Here is the statement from Campbell regarding his decision.

"Mr. Barch has admitted making the remark, but denies that the comment was racially motivated,” Campbell said. “While we accept Mr. Barch’s assertion, as a player in the National Hockey League, he must be held accountable for making a comment that, in the context in which it was made, and in light of the entirety of the circumstances, was offensive and unacceptable.”

If that's what he said, I'm failing to get the logic of it all. If Campbell doesn't see that as a racial statement -- very much in the air, some will see it that way, some won't -- then why is it suspendable at all? What about using a Vaudeville-esque comedy bit in a chirp is seen as being worthy of a suspension if you don't believe it was a racial statement?

“There is no debate over what was said,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “The content or the context of the comment can and should be debated over what the intent of the comments were. I have a lot of respect for Krys Barch and how he’s handled himself the past five days. This has been extremely tough on him. At the end of the day, all the information was laid out there. We respect the league’s decision and move on.”

There are a lot of people that are going to be taken aback by the brevity of a one-game suspension for Barch's alleged actions. It seems to be a light sentence when compared to Sean Avery getting six games when talking about his ex-girlfriend and using the term sloppy seconds. Many are going to say it's another example of Campbell's old wheel of justice. Remember, it's still Campbell's duty to deal with player conduct cases, not Brendan Shanahan's.

This is in pretty stark contrast to Avery, who clear-as-day said his suspendable words to the gathered media. Plus, the intent of Barch's words is debateable, those of Avery were not.

It's worth noting that Barch called Subban personally and explained to him that there was no racial intent behind his comment at all and Subban understood.

To me it feels like the suspension is being given to Barch because the NHL feels there has to be a suspension. This was a much-discussed story when it happened. But I just can't understand how the NHL can view it as non-racial but still worthy of a suspension. It feels like an image decision more than anything.

More NHL Discipline News Here

Photo: Getty Images

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Comments

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 4:15 pm
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Read again what you just typed in that last paragraph and then tell me again that I need to grow up.



Have to admit, I had the same thought when I read that line. I could have done without that image. Undecided



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Sorry Redwings, but you're the one out of touch with reality.  Plus you proved my point.  I used YOUR anaolgy.  You need to pull ur head outta ur 6Oclock.

Who says dissing a bro or mom is not insensative but slipping on a babnna peel is insensative?  Certainly not you nor the NHL.  Neither is acceptable, but its done in sports and in the real world.

Who says that one is acceptable and one isn't ?  For the most part, the NHL, NFL, and NBA where most of the smack talk occurs.  You don't like it?  Oh well, you'll live,, it is what it is.   Those leagues accept just about anything except anything that even COULD fall into the racism category. All of those sports have massive unions that aren't doing a thing about it either, because they agree with their respective leagues.

Here's the bottom line that you can't come to grips with because I can clearly tell you are as racist as they come. Ready?  When somebody is talking about banana peels in sports, whether it's a fan or a player, it's always talking to or at a black guy.  It's never at a white guy... until the day comes where this "trash talking" as you like to believe it is directed at white people on a daily basis, it's a racist comment.

Can it be PROVEN that it was meant to be racist?  No.... that's why they suspended him for one game for being "insensitive".   These leagues are allowed to do as they please when it comes to these things... and they'll continue to do that, whether you like it or not.   Also, did you notice when Barch's teammates were interviewed they really didn't complain much if at all about the 1 game suspension?  Probably not... but they didn't. Why?  And why is it his teammates and Barch's agent are all saying the EXACT same thing, calling it a misunderstanding and telling us what a great guy he is?  Why isn't anybody going nuts, telling us a suspension is b.s and that banana peel trash talking is an every day thing in the NHL?  Why? Because it isn't common, that's why.  And because everybody knows it was a racist remark...... even his teammates.   That being said i'm not even saying Barch doesn't like black people or that he's a racist pig... he could have said it in anger.  Doesn't make it right but that could be the case, thus his teammates telling us how wonderful he is every day since the incident. 

I can call ur mom a fat pig that services the 6th fleet with man juice dripping down her leg, but GAWD FORBID I cant make a reference to a banana to a black guy. 

GROW UP DUDE

Read again what you just typed in that last paragraph and then tell me again that I need to grow up. 


RonBoss2
Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:48 pm
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Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:28 pm
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Whenever there is a story about racism or bigotry in sports, I tend to express myself pretty forcefully against the racist or bigotted comments or behavior, even when it might be borderline.

So, with that said.....this is completely stupid! No racism and no insensitivity (unless you consider all trash talk as insensitive) here, just people over-reacting to nothing. In fact, the people who automatically think "
;black people" and "racism" whenever they hear the word "banana" are the real racists. Seriously, if I go into an ice cream shop and there's a black person working there, should I think twice about ordering that banana split?

Stop the insanity.



Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:08 pm
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:33 am
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

  First u say its ok to diss the brothers or sisters but not color, then you go on to say if you heard your boss being racist then you would turn him in...well guess what. if your boss was dissing brothers or sisters or moms or dads then you would also turn him him.

If the NHL wants to make a case out of this, then they damn well better put an end to all smack talk...which isnt gonna happen

Sorry man, that might be the way it is in your world but in reality you're wrong.   In the real world "smack talk" in the work place is called harassment, where in sports it's perfectly ok as long as it doesn't involve anything extreme, like racism.  Just like you can get angry and push a player in a hockey game, but you pushing somebody at work is called assault.  You can fight legally on the ice, can't  fight legally in the real world.

Another thing you're missing is the NHL can do anything  they want, their union has agreed to certain things and that's how it goes. There is no such thing as freedom of speech in sports leagues either, players are told what they are allowed to say and the players have no recourse. They do as they are told or they are punished.  The constitution doesn't apply one bit in sports leagues... especially freedom of speech.

 


RonBoss2
Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:35 am
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RonBoss2
Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:18 am
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 9:57 am
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

redwing: But to say a hockey player's remark is insensitive is laughable. How many of those occur during a single game, I wonder? "I drove your sister up the Hershey Highway last night" would likely be of the milder variety. Campbell clearly wanted to sit on the fence, so we end up with this. I can just see it now, in Campbell's office: "You were extremely insensitive toward PK Subban a couple of days ago. The NHL frowns upon that sort of thing." If I were the culprit, I'd burst out laughing. 

When one player talks about another player's mother or sister, the player being insulted can't say he was singled out because of his race or color because every single player on the ice can give examples of when the same thing was said to them.  But when a player says anything that could be interpreted as racist the league has to step in because that player can now say they are singled out and being abused in a way almost no other player on either team is every abused. 

This can ultimately affect now only how a player performs but in the long run his career as well.  Off the ice there are laws that demand employers act on things like this and it's no different in the NHL.  Imagine if let's say a black player in the NHL feels forced to quit playing hockey because they can't handle that abuse.  What does the NHL do if and when that player sues them off the ice?  How does it look on the NHL when they are settling lawsuits like this out of court? Advertisers? Sponsors?  How would they feel with their name connected to a league accused of condoning racism?

There is a much bigger picture here then just Barch mentioning a banana peel to another NHL player and I have to say I'm surprised more people on these boards don't comprehend that.  This suspension in my opinion was absolutely perfect, it sends a message to NHL players that's clear as can be.  The message simply says that just because we can't prove you're a racist, doesn't mean we can't punish you. Go ahead and trash talk, insult sisters and mothers all you like but careful with anything that can be interpreted as racist.

What's wrong with what the NHL did? Why do you people have a problem with this suspension?  Do you REALLY BELIEVE that Barch wasn't making a racist remark?  Seriously?  And don't tell me the NHL can't prove it, because they don't need to prove anything. Trust me, if your employer that you were making racist remarks to somebody in the office I guarantee you would eventually be history.  They wouldn't fire you for saying the word banana peel, but they would find a reason to let you go legally.  Maybe it's the next time you're late.... maybe it's the next time you have a bad day at work... trust me though, 90 percent of us would never get away with what Barch said in a normal work environment.





Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 8:45 am
 

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

If Barch says anything "insensitive" again he can be treated as a repeat offender and suspended for more games.  And anybody else out there thinking there was a loophole that allows them to open their fat and insensitive mouth now knows they can lose at least 1 game of pay if they say something stupid.   That's really all the NHL can do.....  had they done nothing, that would set a much more dangerous precedent allowing players all over the NHL to abuse others on a daily basis with the same comments Barch made.   This was a much better decision by the NHL then I've been used to lately.
Good point Redwings.   This would actually make sense.   I'm sure the NHLPA has grievance procedures and it's very likely this decision would avoid most of them from either side since the language isn't clearly ractist by some reasonable arguments.   

This may have been a very good decision if that's the case.   Too bad we don't know more.


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