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Barch suspended for asking Subban if he “slipped on a banana peel”

Jan 5, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT

Florida forward Krys Barch has been suspended one game for making “inappropriate comments” towards Montreal’s PK Subban. According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, Barch asked Subban if he “slipped on a banana peel” after falling in a first-period tussle with Erik Gudbranson.

More, from Richards:

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The incident occurred during a Dec. 31 game between the Panthers and Canadiens. The Miami Herald — citing an anonymous league official — said linesman Darren Gibbs heard Barch’s verbal exchange with Subban, interpreted Barch’s comments as racial in nature and ejected Barch based on NHL Rule 23.7 (iii) — game misconduct for racial taunts or slurs.

Shortly thereafter Barch’s agent, Scott Norton, told the Herald his client was innocent.

“Krys’ commentary to me is that he did say something,” Norton said. “At the end of the day, we’re confident there will be no further punishment and he will be cleared of wrong doing and his name will be cleared.”

The investigation of and punishment for this incident was handled by NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. Sensitivities may have been heightened to Barch’s comments after a preseason incident where a fan threw a banana at Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. The fan later claimed he was unaware of the racial overtones of his actions.

  1. t16rich - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    If he says that to a white player. Nada….. Obviously you idiots. I doubt Barch is a racist but you have to be ignorant to think this wasnt a racially directed comment. Barch has played in alot of games and has probally seen lots of guys slip. So unless there is evidence of him saying the same thing about bananas to white players in similar situations he simply cant defend this as being non racial. I know he isnt a racist but how do you defend yourself here? Live with it Barch, your reputation will take a dent but your too much class to be blacklisted in this league.

  2. warpstonebc - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Brutal. If Barch isn’t racist, he’s at least stupid and deserves the suspension for that alone.

    This is no different than homophobic comments. We all grew up with it, but most adults understand that this is no longer tolerated in public. The really remarkable part is that you would have hoped the ship had sailed on racist comments a long time ago.

    Frankly, Barch deserves more games off for simply being too dumb to understand the above issues

  3. Stiller43 - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I was completely unaware it could be anything racial until i read that he was punished for it being racial.

    The worlds getting ridiculous.

    When pple fall down on the ice, normal questions are if the ice monster got ya…if the blue line (or red line) got ya…havent heard of the banana peel one, but guaranteed it wasnt racial.

    This is dumb.

    • selldannysell - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Stiller, it is a negative racial connotation from the mistaken belief that blacks look like apes. He may not have meant it as a racial remark, but given the history, it’s something that could be taken as such. Read up on the history and learn.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      The trouble is that the line between “you’re being racist” and “I’m an entitled victim” moves, depending on who you’re talking to.

      And, if you’re famous and you say something questionable, it will get questioned to the point where you’re apologizing. The media whips up a frenzy whenever SOMEONE cries racism. And businesses always decides on damage control whenever charges of racism appear.

      The result is a huge number of statements that whites get punished for saying. Which isn’t to say that Barch doesn’t deserve punishment. Maybe he does–we don’t know the culture inside the NHL to that degree. At best, he probably should have known better, especially given the Simmonds incident earlier. At worst, he did it on purpose.

      I’m just saying that it can be really easy for whites to say the wrong thing by accident and without malice.

      And yes, this is generally a white problem. The media doesn’t destroy any other color for saying similar things. Which is racism against whites. But nobody likes to talk about that, because they’d rather foment discord instead of realizing that we’re all in this together.

      Racism is bad–we all realize this. And yet in trying to stop one form of racism, we perpetuate another.

  4. cshearing - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    There can be little doubt that this has a relation to the whole Wayne Simmonds banana peel incident during the pre-season. I think a 1-gamer is best; it raises awareness of what is not okay to say, but does not exorbitantly penalize a guy that probably had no slurring intent to his words.

  5. kitshky - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I hate to be the one to keep bringing this point up but …
    Obviously I’m not condoning one thing or another, but this is ridiculous. There are no more prevalant words (sides the ol’ Fbomb of course) in the game of hockey than F****t or C***S****r. Both of those terms are obviously derogatory terms for a homosexual and yet I’ve still never heard of a single penalty, nevermind a suspension, for any of them. Avery tried to cause a scene about it and was ridiculed (Just an example, this is not about Avery). Personally I think it’s just hockey and we shouldnt be suspening players for either the words I (didnt) mention before, or for something like “slipping on a banana peel” but either way …you can’t have it both ways. As usual the NHL is making decisions and precendents off the seat of the their pants with no known standard that the players or fans are aware of. Again, not condonding any of these things, just asking for some consistency from the NHL …. and while we’re at it I’ll take World Peace and a call from Keira Knightley.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Suspect that the main reason no punishment happens is that the players don’t complain about it. Which means that the media doesn’t complain about it. Which means that the NHL’s wallets aren’t affected.

      Though it’s more interesting that the players don’t complain about it. It could mean a lot of things.

    • selldannysell - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Kobe Bryant got fined for calling an official a f***** f*****. Granted, it doesn’t compare to a fine, but it’s a start.

      • cmutimmah - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        It compares. Minorities are minorities. I’m not sure when one minority became more protected than another…. but if that is perceived it is not the case. (This coming from a straight white male).

    • selldannysell - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Suspension, that is.

      • drewsylvania - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        He was suspended for it? Good. Why can’t we all just get along???

  6. xxshookonexx - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Ugh, come on….really!?

    Family Fued, 100 people surveyed….top three answers on the board.

    Name something you slip on.

    What would be the number one answer not called “ice”?

    • selldannysell - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      See my comment above. It has a negative connotation to it.

  7. jimeejohnson - Jan 5, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    There are ignorant athletes just as there are ignorant people. Racism is based on pure ignorance. The NHL did the right thing to punish this ignorant racist. Note that ignorance is not stupidity: ignorance is dynamic and can be overcome with education, while education will not correct stupidity.

  8. gallyhatch - Jan 5, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Another reason this sucks? Suppan takes dives, and he’s not a good fighter. You have to assume he takes $hit on a regular basis for flopping, and it’s possible this was the case, but was taken too far.

    I’m not saying Barch is not a racist d!ckhead, I’m just saying I have doubt.

    That being said, big ups to Suppan for downplaying it with the media. (& I’m a Bruins fan who can’t stand him)

  9. 8man - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Batman: [reading a riddle] What has yellow skin and writes?
    Robin: A ball-point banana!
    Batman: [reads the second riddle] What people are always in a hurry?
    Robin: Rushing people… Russians!
    Batman: So this means…
    Robin: Someone Russian is going to slip on a banana and break their neck!
    Batman: Precisely, Robin!

  10. danphipps01 - Jan 5, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    The hilarious thing is, he said this to a guy who wipes out ALL THE TIME. PK Subban is known to blow edges or otherwise fuck up whilst trying to bust a move he’s not dextrous enough to manage. He’s a guy who’s given up awful turnovers by falling in the offensive zone. Barch was in all likelihood mocking him for his play – a typical dig amongst NHLers, like insulting the Sedins or Sidney Crosby for lacking in toughness. Players looking to beak at each other often insult each other’s play. There’s nothing racist about it. The only “racist” factor involved in this is that he happened to use the word “banana” whilst beaking at a black guy.

    As for your take, Danny, I can understand it, but at the end of the day, what you’re pushing basically leaves people forever afraid that they’ll be punished for accidental implications. You’re saying a “negative connotation” is worthy enough, but where does that lead? Are NHLers supposed to take away the message that they need to be cautious about using the word “banana” around black people for fear of suspension? Is society as a whole supposed to tread lightly around the idea of inviting black people to partake of a fried chicken meal for fear of offending them? Please. This is fucking ridiculous. Not only is there nothing even close to clear intent present in Barch’s comment, but the idea of punishing him for “connotation” or “implication” just creates a priviledged class of people in the NHL who everyone else has to tread lightly around because of their skin colour.

    P.K. Subban didn’t give a shit. He’s intelligent enough to know what Barch meant and unlike all the paranoid white people in the head office looking to “set a good example” of political hypercorrectness, he isn’t whining about imaginary racism. The rest of us should take his lead.

  11. acieu - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Wasn’t it watermelon seeds?

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