Despite obvious video footage depicting Philadelphia Flyer Wayne Simmonds shouting a gay slur during a preseason game against the New York Rangers on Monday night, the National Hockey League isn't taking any action!
According to a statement released on Tuesday, the NHL is "unable at this time to take any disciplinary action" because they can't substantiate "what was said and to whom."
Hmm..if they take a look at the video we posted yesterday, it's pret-ty clear what was said!
The NHL's refusal to take action obviously isn't making the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation very happy. GLAAD president Mike Thompson released a statement saying:
"It is abundantly clear from video footage that an instance of anti-gay bias occurred. League officials should revisit this matter and take action immediately. The NHL is severely out of touch at a time when leagues including the MLB and the NBA are taking stands against anti-gay bullying and steps to ensure their sports are welcoming to all players, coaches and fans."
In response to hockey's excuses condoning the behavior, the LGBT media advocacy and anti-defamation organization has launched an online action for community members and allies to contact the NHL! Click here for all the info and to let your voice be heard!
“All Players, Coaches and Officials in the National Hockey League deserve the respect of their peers, and have the absolute right to function in a work environment that is free from racially or sexually-based innuendo or derision. This is the National Hockey League’s policy and it will remain so going forward.
It also is important to emphasize that the National Hockey League holds, and will continue to hold, our Players to higher standards with respect to their conduct both on and off the ice. While we recognize that the emotion involved in certain on-ice confrontations may lead to the use
of highly charged and sometimes offensive language and commentary, certain lines cannot be crossed. Specifically, we have for many years emphasized to our Clubs and Players that commentary directed at the race or ethnicity of other participants in the game (or even non-participants), or that is otherwise socially or morally inappropriate or potentially hurtful — including as it may relate to sexual orientation — is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
With that as background, we have looked into the allegations relating to the possible use of a homophobic slur by a Flyers player in the Rangers/Flyers preseason game last night in Philadelphia. Since there are conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice, we have been unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom. Specifically, Flyers Player Wayne Simmonds has expressly denied using the homophobic slur he is alleged to have said. Additionally, none of the on-ice officials close to the altercation in question heard any inappropriate slurs uttered by either of the primary antagonists. In light of this, we are unable at this time to take any disciplinary action with respect to last night’s events. To the extent we become aware of additional information conclusively establishing that an inappropriate slur was invoked, we are reserving the option to revisit the matter.”