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NHL explains Barch suspension

Jan 5, 2012, 3:36 PM EDT

Krys Barch Getty Images

Krys Barch should’ve known better…even if what he said to PK Subban wasn’t meant to be racist.

That’s the NHL’s explanation for Barch’s one-game suspension after the Florida forward reportedly asked Subban if he “slipped on a banana peel” during a Dec. 31 game between the Panthers and Canadiens.

“Mr. Barch has admitted making the remark, but denies that the comment was racially motivated,” said Colin Campbell, Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. “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.”

Let that be a warning to all NHL players to think long and hard before saying something…in the heat of the moment.

There might be racist connotations in your remarks.

  1. solador78 - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Barch’s 26 career points and 555 penalty minutes will be missed by all.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      He’s been suspended for one game, not sentenced to death…

  2. davebabychreturns - Jan 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I guess the whole banana thing has a real loaded meaning.

    For example I was floored to learn when there was a witch hunt for that moron who threw a banana at Wayne Simmonds that there is a long tradition of the use of bananas to attempt to athletes of African descent:

    http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/09/23/a-brief-history-of-racist-banana-throwing-incidents-in-sports/

    Barch sits a game, and that sucks for him I guess but the simple fact is that the league can’t let players straddle the line when it comes to touchy subjects like this (whether they know they are doing it or not).

  3. donttouchthedirtypenny - Jan 5, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    I wonder of he was think Subban dove it something and thought “ice=slippery, bananas=slippery”. Then he said what he said and thought “that didn’t come out right.”

  4. schwiegs - Jan 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    The real question is whether or not he would have been suspended if he said the same thing to a player of Irish descent. As the Irish were portrayed as “apes” and “monkeys” during the latter 19th century and early 20th century as they were looking for jobs. My guess is no.

    Maybe the comment was completely off the cuff and not meant as a racial dig…strap him to a lie detector and ask again.

    • critter69 - Jan 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      schwiegs ?

      So if someone calls someone else a slur from 100 years ago, but it’s not current today, we can just ignore it?

      Calling Germans ‘krauts’ is OK? Calling people of Vietnamese or Chinese ancestry ‘chinks’ is OK?

      Calling someone a ‘left-footer’ or a ‘left-legger’ only applies if spoken to someone who is from Ireland, West Scotland, Lancashire, or South Cork?

      For your information, pejoratives (or terms of abuse, derogatory terms), including name slurs, are words or grammatical forms that connote negativity and express contempt or distaste. And a person can consciously or unconsciously express a pejorative.

      Also, I’m sure you’d have no problem if someone flashed you (in America) the ‘OK’ sign. Do that same sign in the Arab world, and it is viewed as a threatening gesture, as in saying: “You’ll see!” Maybe some US soldiers learned, the hard way, to not flash the ‘OK’ sign?

      I’m also sure you’d have no problem seeing the bottom of any person’s foot. That is considered to be a very gross insult in the Arab world – throwing shoes in the Arab world is similar to a person giving another the finger in Western Europe and the Americas.

      • schwiegs - Jan 5, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        I’m not saying it’s ok to use derogatory terms against any group (ethnic, religious or otherwise).
        What I’m saying is that Barch stated it wasn’t meant as a racial slur. If he said the same exact thing to a white player (and I have not seen the incident and if Simmonds did in fact fall on his ass), no one would have said boo….even if it was said to a player named “O’Reilly” for example and could be stretched to equate that with the old abusive terminology for the Irish.

        That was the point I was trying to make.

  5. stakex - Jan 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    The problem with this, is the same as it is in the non-hockey world. Its not a very big deal to use a slur against most people…. but direct one at a black person and its the end of the world.

    You hear all sorts of nasty crap on the ice including slurs directed at players nationalities and their decent… yet that would never make headlines. In fact, no one would care. However, direct a comment at a black person that MIGHT have a slight racial tinge to it, and its in the news for a week. Anyone else see the hypocricy? Perhaps there needs to be more balanced punishment for the use of any slur. Perhaps there are slurs people over react to. I don’t know, but there are clearly some slurs that are punished far more then others.

    In pro hockey, what happens on the ice should stay on the ice. Don’t like what someone says to you? Thats why there is fighting in the sport. Let the players take care of it themselves. With some of the foul, nasty, and violent things that are said during the course of the game… it almost seems idiotic to suspend someone for making a comment that can be taken in a racial way.

  6. amonte13 - Jan 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Is calling someone a big little faker offensive and unacceptable???

  7. thebigwhitecat - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Opponents should just ignore Subban and not talk to him at all.

    But then THAT would probably be racist.

  8. danphipps01 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    “While we accept Mr. Barch’s assertion, we as a sports organization are ludicrously hypersensitive to political correctness and more willing to suspend him anyway than risk mildly offending a single black person anywhere on Earth.”

    Why is it white people care more about “racist” remarks to black people than the black people in question do? Seriously. That shit just doesn’t make sense. =/

  9. mayokiyori - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    maybe Barch really didn’t mean it in a racist way. He probably was just taking a crack at Subban’s skating skills. Its the ice, its easy to slip. Maybe they should make a bigger deal out of the guy that threw a banana at Subban.

    • mayokiyori - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      edit: Simmonds**

  10. katx2012 - Jan 7, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    I think that him being suspended for that is STUPID. If it was meant to be a racial slur, he would have made it better than “did you slip on a banana peel”. If I was him, I would be sueing the NHL. We do have a Constitution that states that we do have the freedom of speech. If you can’t take some smack talk or anything, then you shouldn’t be playing the game. Players are going to be pumped up, irritated, and want to get under other competitors skins. Like I said, if you can’t take it, then do NOT play.

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