There’s no denying it, Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban is one of the most polarizing personalities in the hockey world. There’s a HUGE percentage of hockey fans who absolutely love Subban for the attitude, swagger and personality that he brings on and off the ice. To these fans Subban is a larger than life superstar who revels being in the spotlight. At the same time, there’s an equally large percentage of fans who cannot stand Subban for the same reasons. To them, Subban is just a loud mouth who puts himself above his team and his teammates while diving all over the ice.
The great thing about hockey and hockey fandom is that both of these groups of fans are allowed to hold their opinions, openly debate them and enjoy the game either because of or in spite of Subban. In other words, it can be equally fun to cheer for or against players based on their skills, accomplishments and yes even their personality. What’s not okay is to cheer for or against a player solely based on the color of their skin. Racism and ignorance based on skin color has no place in hockey. Not today, not ever.
Incredibly, a high ranking Winnipeg executive, Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) vice president and Winnipeg Rifles president Todd Wilson posted a ridiculously racist photo and caption to social media last night during Game 1 of the Western Conference Final between the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights.
Check it out:
Is… is that a joke? Because the young man selling beer is black and because Subban himself is black… they must be the same person? Is that the joke? Ugh… not a good move, Mr. Wilson.
As you might expect, Wilson is getting absolutely CARVED on social media, with people demanding that he resign from his position immediately. So far, neither the CJFL nor the Rifles have commented on Wilson’s misguided and extremely ignorant joke.
Also, to be clear the words of this man do not in any way represent the Jets fanbase. While Winnipeg may not be the most culturally or ethnically diverse city in the NHL, Winnipeggers and Manitobans are almost universally known to be friendly, caring and compassionate individuals. After all, they call it "Friendly Manitoba" for nothing.