White People Are The Worst – Hockey Edition

2 May

Trigger warning for racist and violent language and images

Last night, Montreal Canadiens player P. K. Subban scored the winning goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

Predictably, Boston fans were outraged. In this case, though, with Subban as one of the few black players in the league, their anger took a sickeningly racist turn.

It was so bad that the n-word was briefly trending on Twitter in Boston. Seriously. Think about that for a minute. Think about how many people must have been tweeting one of the vilest, most degrading racist slurs in our language in order for it to be trending in a city the size of Boston. That is not just a few racist fans making everyone look bad – that is a whole fucking lot of people trying their hardest to make Subban (and all people of colour) aware of just how unwelcome they are among white people.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a sampling of some of the tweets:

That stupid n—-r doesn’t belong in hockey #whitesonly.”


Someone needs to smack PK subban across his big n***** lips. #scumbag”

F*** PK Subban. F****** n*****. Wish he got sold”

Even worse, one fan tweeted this image (the account has since been deleted):


This is not a fluke. This isn’t even the first time Subban has experienced a slew of racist tweets – the same thing happened while he was playing for Canada’s Olympic hockey team. This is not a little blip in an otherwise decent system. This is white people telling you what they really think of people of colour. Seriously, you don’t have to scratch too deeply to find the violent, still-beating heart of racism in most white folks. All it takes is your favourite sports team losing a playoff game, and out it comes.

You know what the real kicker is? I bet the majority of the people tweeting these things would say that they’re not racist. They would tell you that they have black friends. That the n-word is just a word, and anyway how come black people can use it and they can’t? They would tell you that it was just a joke. It was all just a stupid joke. Stop being so sensitive, jeez.

I can’t believe that this needs to be spelled out for some people, but: white people using the n-word is not a joke. Making references to slavery is not a joke. And Jesus Christ tweeting a picture of a noose at a black person is not a fucking joke.

The spectre of white violence is something that black people face every day. They live in a world where knocking on a white person’s door to ask for help after a car accident can result in them being shot in the face. They live in a world where defending yourself against an attacker can result in imprisonment, but meanwhile if they are murdered, unarmed and vulnerable, their killers can get off scot-free. They live in a world where a man can shoot and kill a black teenager because their music is too loud, and then not have the jury find enough evidence to convict him of first degree murder. They live in a world where deep-seated systematic oppression hounds them at every turn. To top it all off, they live in a world where white people are taught from birth to fear everything about them.

The Boston fans tweeting slurs at P. K. Subban aren’t an isolated minority. Donald Sterling, the racist owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, isn’t just a throwback to an earlier age where racism was acceptable. This is the racist landscape that we live in, and to which all white people, on some level or another, contribute. We need to acknowledge that every time we downplay events like this, every time we tell someone not to be so “sensitive,” every time we write stuff like this off as something other white people do, we are just making matters worse. Before any real change can take place, we, as white people, need to accept that fact that we all participate in and benefit from a system that privileges our interests above all others. And we need to understand that this same system makes life not just difficult but frightening and dangerous for people of colour.

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely issued a statement this morning, saying, “These classless, ignorant views are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization.” Unfortunately, the truth is that they are a reflection of people associated with the Bruins organization –  perhaps not people employed by it, but certainly people who publicly cheer for the team and therefore contribute to how people outside of Boston perceive the Bruins. This statement is a start, but there needs to be more. We need more people calling out racism in sports – and everywhere – in order to affect change.

We need to show Subban and all other people of colour that we’ve got their back.



59 Responses to “White People Are The Worst – Hockey Edition”

  1. athenarcarson9 May 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    What. In. The. Actual. Fuck.

    I can’t believe I just read this. As sad as this is to say, I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened in certain southern states.(*) But in a place as progressive as Boston …. really? Really?!

    (*) Not to say everyone in the South is racially insensitive but it seems that one is more likely to encounter outspoken racial insensitivity in the South, if I’m not mistaken.

    • browstip May 4, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      Progressive as Boston? Really? Boston is an eastern city and it has a history of racism as long as any eastern city.

      • Mike (@msmarph) May 5, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

        Progressive? Google bussing and Boston. Read what pops up.

  2. Toby May 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Reblogged this on Speaker's Corner.

    • Lawrence Grodecki May 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

      It’s so sad really, especially after watching P.K.’s post-game interview on CBC – so gracious, articulate and even funny in the end. By the way, he and others actually give most of the credit to the goalie, Carey Price, for the victory. My guess is Subban will play even better tomorrow . . . I sure hope so.

  3. butterflyny75 May 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    This is DISGUSTING! I have zero tolerance for this kind of ignorance and classlessness. What the hell is wrong with people!?!

  4. Alex May 2, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    “Racist People Are The Worst” Fixed.
    -YS, a Person of Colour.

    As for Boston being enlightened and progressive, I’ve often found those progressive souls to be the worst offenders, as they feel their enlightenment entitles them to indulge in ironic racism.

  5. KarinKateriKei May 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Eclectic Poet and commented:
    Sweet Jesus… Why? Why does this shit still go on?
    Regarding the nasty and uneducated tweets: This hockey fan knows that here in The Great White North, our “Coloured Hockey League” predates the NHL…. Get a clue.
    Does anyone else see the irony in Don Cherry comparing PK to Bobby Orr? (love you Bobby and you’re welcome ‘Murrica)

    Oh. Seeings as my team is out and because the Habs were my parent’s team before the Sens…


  6. Andrew Hughes May 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    That racist crap just makes my blood boil. Subban you rock! GO HABS GO! (My father was from Montreal and I have been a fan since I was a kid. There’s probably been Habs fans in my family since the team began). I don’t understand people sometimes nor this stupid racist system of white privilege that has been taken for granted for far too long.

  7. Helena Hann-Basquiat May 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Holy shit. I. I. I just don’t even. (sorry I can’t be more eloquent — I’m just at a loss.) Your writing was fantastic though, thank you for sharing this.

  8. rvraiment May 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Thank you for speaking out about this. Racism is and always has been evil.

  9. Helena Hann-Basquiat May 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Reblogged this on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante. and commented:
    This article is amazing, and needs to be read. Terrible subject matter, but please read.

  10. Jason Creative May 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Reblogged this on jason5creative and commented:
    yep. peoples- hockey/hockey,lets refocus

  11. Samantha May 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    It’s bittersweet that the Internet and the habitual microphone of social media that we have available makes racism that much more blatant. There were few instances I encountered growing up, and maybe that is indicative of the state I live in, but it seems to be worse than it has been in my short lifetime. This kind of crap makes me so, so sad.

    I have to say though, I’d agree with the commenter who said “Racist People are the Worst”. There are racists in all races and ethnicities and skin colors.

  12. zuludelta45 May 2, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    NHL Fans get a little confused when it comes to who is actually playing on the ice, Here’s a little NHL humor and the Truth;


  13. dianatierney3 May 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    As a hockey fan I am saddened and ashamed to hear about this happening. After what has gone on with the NBA I actually thought, earlier this week “at least this isn’t happening in my sport.” Athletics is the one true place in our society where someone could get on the field and prove their worth souly based on their actions. Their skin or gender don’t matter. This is completely unacceptable

  14. Drew Llew May 2, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Bruins should be held to task for the actions of their fans. Same happened in UK soccer some years ago and the team was fined and lost points I think. Only way to drive home the completely unacceptable nature is for sanctions and some criminal prosecutions.

    • theeditorsjournal May 3, 2014 at 3:48 am #

      Agree Drew and the fans themselves should be penalized in some way to force them to police idiocy out of them as a whole.

  15. writeamy May 3, 2014 at 12:02 am #

    Reblogged this on going to germany and commented:
    As I am not a hockey fan, I had no idea. And this is why I am often ashamed to be a white American.

  16. galeweithers May 3, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    I read this post immediately before this one and commented on photo number six: http://theeditorsjournal.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/more-amazing-glimpses-of-our-history/comment-page-1/#comment-2694 . Words fail me because I thought we were learning from our mistakes … obviously not. I don’t follow hockey but I do follow racial profiling, supposed murder in self-defense and being pulled over because of the colour of someone’s skin. The world isn’t getting better; it’s getting subtly worse than ever. It’s what’s inside of us and who we are as a person that matters more than the colour of our skin – always.

  17. aqilaqamar May 3, 2014 at 1:25 am #

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    Racism is always intolerable.

  18. Aewl May 3, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least that it was Boston fans that did this. Just goes to show you that liberal bastions are the worst racists of all.

  19. aldrik060559 May 3, 2014 at 3:10 am #

    wow this is awful

  20. aldrik060559 May 3, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    alot of people joins racism

  21. aldrik060559 May 3, 2014 at 3:13 am #


  22. billgncs May 3, 2014 at 3:42 am #

    sports doesn’t always bring out the best. I am reminded of soccer fields with moats surrounding them to prevent riots and mayhem.

  23. chuck v. May 3, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    As a gay man and a boston bruins fan… granted I’m disappointed the bruins lost… but I am far more mortified by the actions of some of the bruins fans … as a bruins fan I feel I owe P.K. a sincere appology for the hateful rotten things people said to him… he’s a man doing his job… and he won for his team… I appreciate Cam Neelys comments but it still doesn’t take away the negative impact these people have created… these fans proved to me that boston isn’t strong… its weak minded and that has to change if its going to truly be Boston Strong… I’m sorry P.K…. I’m embarrased to be a bruins fan today…

  24. naimavanswol May 3, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    People are fucking gross. It’s true. But damn he is really cute!

  25. izzy82 May 3, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Awesome post! Must reblog. Thank you for writing this and connecting it to the Donald Sterling issue, which is getting a lot more press time!

  26. izzy82 May 3, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Reblogged this on Izzy In a Tizzy and commented:
    Amazing post from The Belle Jar! So timely and this blatant racism from “just your average” folks needs to be focused on too!

  27. 1WriteWay May 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    You’ve written very eloquently about a truly disgusting aspect of our so-called humanity. I live in Florida and, indeed, racism is flourishing. It never went away. It just went underground. Thank you again for your post.

  28. 1WriteWay May 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on 1WriteWay and commented:
    This post by The Belle Jar is a must-read. For anyone who thinks racism is dead, come on out from under your rock. Racism is alive and as ugly as ever.

  29. Jazzybeatchick May 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    I think that you have captured the reality of racism in the world is alive and thriving more so than Slavery times. Folks who say they are “racially correct” are hiding behind masks and sheets. Don’t get me started with respect to racism and the 60’s and the prevailing mind set of “don’t ask, don’t tell” not only includes race but gender as well. When I read or here Gay folks compare same sex marriages to interacial marriages indeed there is a confusion and desparate argument that is futile and ignorant. Thanks for your article. Well said. Peace Out! JBC 😎

  30. kingmidget May 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Yes, and in Europe, they throw bananas at players of certain ethnicities. When I was young I had the idealistic thought that there was a time in the future when things like this wouldn’t happen. I’ve given up on that. The need to feel superior, to belittle, and treat others as inferior, is unfortunately a part of the human existence. All we can do is point out how wrong it is whenever we see it. Thanks for this post.

  31. lrconsiderer May 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Good grief! I can’t reblog, as I have the wrong platform, but THANK YOU for writing this, and for sharing such a compelling account of some of the repugnant behaviour and attitudes which still exist. I am horrified. I hope they learn, somehow, that this is completely unacceptable, unnecessary, and also as dumb as two short planks stuck together with stupid glue.

  32. Luanne May 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

  33. genxatmidlife May 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    There are two very sad things going on here. The first is that people still feel justified in saying such horrible things. It’s pathetic that people even think of the kinds of words and images they used, let alone publicize them (which is what they are doing on social media) for the world to see. They are embarrassing themselves, but I’m sure they don’t see it that way.

    The second is that they are doing such things because someone else won a game they were invested in — though not to the point where they (the fans) were actually playing the game. It’s one thing to follow a team, but it’s another to have one’s self-worth so attached to the performance of that team that one would behave in such a manner as the Boston fans.

  34. belle★beckford May 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    Such horrid people! Of course, the only way they feel they can let loose on losing is to insult his color. It must really BURN them that a black person – one who in their opinion should not be in a “white” sport like hockey – kicked their asses.

    I live in Massachusetts and yes this is a progressive state, but I can assure you that I would not like to be caught at night in certain parts of Boston. Anyway, all it takes is for a situation like the Bruins losing to a black person (since they don’t feel the rest of the team was playing, just the one person) to bring out the racists in their droves.

    Too sad. That won’t erase the score and that fact that they still lost.

  35. David Reddekopp May 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    The Bruins’ leading goal scorer is a black player (Jarome Iginla). The Bruins’ top goaltending prospect is not only black, but he’s PK’s younger brother (Malcolm Subban). Also of note, it was a Bruin, Willie O’Ree, that broke hockey’s color barrier. These fans should consider that before spewing this racist nonsense.

    • 1jaded1 May 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Thank you for pointing out the irony in this situation that makes me say, “dafuq is wrong with people?” I wasn’t able to see my Wings get bounced by your Bruins, but I had respect for the Bruins because they clearly played better (from what I heard). The Bruins’ fans are skating on thin ice with regards to my respect and the pun is definitely intended.

  36. Diana May 3, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    This is horrible, and there’s no justification for it. It deserves attention, as do all situations like this. Can we, though, just agree that saying “white people” (insert thing here) is also racist? Because it is.

  37. Carol Balawyder May 4, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Super great that you posted this.

  38. ericjbaker May 4, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    They can’t attack PK Subban for his play, because he’s an awesome player (I wish he played for my team), so they lash out in the most puerile, childish way imaginable. I agree that these people would all claim to not be racists, yet they don’t even recognize how close to the surface their racism actually lies. Their first knee-jerk reaction to losing the game is to savagely attack the man’s ethnicity. Disturbing.

    The silver lining with these incidents is that the perpetrators are further exposed and isolated each time, and more and more people of all skin colors and cultural backgrounds are unified in condemning it. And PK himself will play even harder. Living well is always the best revenge.

  39. britbitchberlin7 May 4, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Great post! I cant believe such ignorance is still around everywhere in the world…in Germany it is just as bad…I talk about a similar thing on my blog. Check it out if you have time:

  40. Middlemay Farm May 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Once you get into the white people are the worst you’re being just as racist. There are hateful people all over the world saying and doing horrible things. As long as even the “sensitive” people continue to be blind to their own hatred things will never change.
    The fashion of the day is to blame white for every bad thing which is a bit intellectually lazy.

    If you take a broader perspective you find that even people of color have committed heinous atrocities in the name of their tribe or ethnic group.

  41. revellingsjoy May 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on Crystal Harrison and commented:
    Very well put. Everyone should read this…

  42. revellingsjoy May 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Very well written and I too am appalled but what was said about PK and also how little society in general has come with regards to race 😦

  43. Mardi3 May 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on VOICE and commented:
    One of the books that I am currently reading is LIFE IS SO GOOD. It was written by a Black man who was born in 1898 and lived until 2001. In his 103 years, George Dawson saw it all. Chapter one opens with an experience that occurred in front of his 10-year old eyes-the lynching of a man randomly accused of having sex with a woman who later delivered a blond-haired, blue- eyed child.

    Reading about the latest episode of racial discord made me think of the blood-thirsty spectators at the Roman Colosseum. I also thought about how I was raised: never heard my Mom call anyone out of their name, indecent words were not thrown out as a greeting, and I was eager to learn about other people’s way of living. Yet, as a person of color, I have experienced my share of blatant racial indecencies. Unfortunately, the smiling young girl who posted a noose due to a sports loss did not share the same upbringing as most decent people.

    When George Dawson was a child people showed their true colors while hiding behind a white sheet. Today, folks unabashedly broadcast their hatred to the world through short posts.

    In John 8:42-47, Jesus tells those who have no love as evidenced by their compulsion to kill him that their father is the devil. I wonder should I pray to my Father for people who obviously have murder in their own hearts? For now, I will just pray that we all get it right while we still have time.

  44. Anastasia May 5, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    I’ve just nominated you for a Liebster Award! Click below to check it out 🙂 x

  45. Delia Harrington May 5, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly with your post, but I just wanted to point out that the n-word was NEVER trending in Boston. Josh Kogan simply said it was, and everyone RT’d him. That doesn’t tale away from the other points, but I think it’s important to be factual, and perhaps thankful it wasn’t as many users as it would actually take for that to be a trending topic.

  46. Susan May 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    What happened is disturbing and awful, and almost a obscene parody of the horrible ignorance that underlies the behaviours you called out in your story. I followed a link on twitter from Jessica Luther (@scATX) in Austin, TX…the word is out there. The support for your blog in the comments above is heartening and eloquent-I can’t add to that discussion.

    I was also “stopped in my tracks” for another reason while reading this- by one sentence: “Seriously, you don’t have to scratch too deeply to find the violent, still-beating heart of racism in most white folks.” A statement like that can shut down discussions that might help some people reflect on and change their own blatant or casual racism. Just a thought.

  47. sammykur May 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    This is the first thing i ever read of yours that i agree with,people in boston are assholes (more than usual) but thats no excuse.

  48. Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade June 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Reblogged this on BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! and commented:
    NORTH amerikkka!

  49. Chas Lewis June 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    I appreciate the depth of your well written expose. It is indeed past time for people of color to awaken to the viciousness and total ignorance of the white supremacy FAIRY TALE.
    It is based on a deep rooted since of inferiority in caucasions, especially since the first humans (Blacks) came out of Mother Africa. That was the only way they were finally able to get to the caves of the Caucus Mountains..

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