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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Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:05 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Are people here retarded? The racist way of taking it is it was saying PK Subban is a monkey, which is a derogatory and offensive remark to blacks.  I get that it isn't meant in a racist way, but the NHL is taking no chances of something like this happening again where it could be misconstrued.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:06 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Yeah, the league has a grand total of around 10 African American players in the league.  One of those players has a banana thrown onto the ice when he's getting ready to take a shootout.  Then 5 months later an idiot makes a slipping on banana peel joke to another one.  No coincidence at all.  I mean players joke about banana's every game right?  Nothing to see here folks move along.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:18 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

If you seriously think "Banana peel" is racist, you've got some serious emotional issues.

How many Bugs Bunny cartoons have shown someone slipping on an orange peel? Or an apple core?

How many times has the coyote slipped on a banana peel while chasing the road runner? Is that racist, because the coyote's brown and the road runner's a light blue? Look at the brown coyote, slipping on a banana peel...

Oh wait, maybe it wasn't racist. Maybe it was a shot at Subban's sexuality. Get it, "banana"? See how it's phallic. He was subliminally calling PK a homosexula. See, if he had used the whole "Slip on a grape" thing, it would have been a comment on the size of Subban's  testicles and an insinuation of a small penis.

Get a grip. Not on a banana though, I don't want anymore phallic references.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 7:39 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

name calling = 1 game suspension


this is getting embarrassing 
Name calling / being a racist.. two different things. That any professional athlete has to resort to black jokes is embarrassing. 

I think that every NHL team should employ a colored athlete, your bound to at least get a power plays a week with the name calling. Some of these guys are living in the 30's.  

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 7:19 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

name calling = 1 game suspension


this is getting embarrassing

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:21 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Im not sure whats a bigger joke, some of the posts on here or where this league is headed

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:01 pm

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.

Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:47 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

Only reason he got suspended is so he cant play vrs the rangers tonight cuz its gonna get chippy after what happened last week, and now our best ( only ) enforcer is out for 1 stupid game, hope we kick thier asses anyway! And yes, what he said was racist, who really gives a crap, anyone here think all the black guys in the NFl dont rag on the white boys a bunch? Total PC crap, if your black AND playing hockey your one tough dude and can handle some stupid bannana remark

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:57 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

This makes absolutely no sense to me.  Either it was determined to be racist or not.  I don't get the "insensitve" thing issued by Campbell.   Then again, it makes perfect sense for any related discipline coming from Campbell or Shanahan on many occasions.   

Hockeybob.  The first time I read what Campbell said it didn't make any sense to me either.  But the more I think about it, this is one of the very few times I actually understand what the NHL is trying to do.   First of all let me say this much..... In my opinion I believe anybody with a brain should believe that Barch making that banana peel comment certainly is racist, in my opinion there is no doubt about that at all.  Unfortunately the NHL can't prove the words "banana peel" are racist at all, but can prove based on what players and other people believe the words used like Barch used them are "insensitive".   In today's world you can't very easily and legally accuse people of racist comments unless you can say you're 100 percent sure.  Insensitive? Don't need a lot of proof to charge somebody with being insensitive.  The NHL gets Barch off the ice for a game and sets a precedent, all at the same time.  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.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:04 pm

Barch suspended one game for insensitive remarks

hockeybob: exactly. Substitute "orange" for "banana" and now how ridiculous does it look -- if it isn't supposed to be a racist remark. To me it looks like Campbell knows damned well it was intended as a racist comment, but wanted to pretend it wasn't and at the same time not draw a lot of heat for pretending it wasn't, so he slapped his wrist with a one-game suspension, if anyone can follow that logic.

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