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Banana-tosser slips away with light fine, deemed not a hate crime

Jan 9, 2012, 11:53 AM EDT

Wayne Simmonds Getty Images

You may not remember the name Chris Moorhouse, but he’s the hockey fan who threw a banana at Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds during the shootout of a preseason game in London, Ontario.

Moorhouse was booked for his actions and while his defense was that he didn’t know it was a racist gesture, the courts in Ontario are letting him off lightly. Moorhouse was fined $200 for tossing the banana at Simmonds while he skated in on his shootout attempt against the Red Wings in September.

As The Globe And Mail notes, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge Moorhouse with a hate crime despite the fact that it was very clearly a racial gesture. If Moorhouse was ignorant to that whole thing, it must be a wonderful world to live in where you just don’t know what anything means.

  1. eagleswineagleswin - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    How pathetic and sad is Chris Moorhouse? Ontario Courts show be ashamed of themselves. This guy should have gotten a bigger fine and at least some community service. Some pleaople will never mature.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      OK, this may seem odd to us older folks, but I asked the young couple next door about this (in a Southern US state). They are about 20-ish, he’s black, she’s white. They were genuinely surprised to hear that folks were seeing a racist overtone to the banana tossing, and I had to explain it to them. So, maybe, just maybe, the London chap was similarly unaware, and that just might be a sign of progress. Our majority-white state did vote for Obama in ’08, so it just is possible our species is slowly moving forward on some fronts.

  2. pens919209 - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    How can Moorhouse not know that throwing a banana peel in that situation would be considered racist by… oh… 99% of the population? Unless they’re very health conscious in London and serve fruits at arena concession stands, this douche had to have thought ahead to take the banana to the game with him (knowing that the Flyers had acquired Wayne Simmonds).

    Sad… just sad.

  3. mojosmagic - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    One black player on the ice and he is the target of the banana thrower. OK. What does this clowns words mean anyway.

  4. davebabychreturns - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    “If Moorhouse was ignorant to that whole thing, it must be a wonderful world to live in where you just don’t know what anything means.”

    Just ask Krys Barch.

  5. cakrywyj - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    At least I learned something today. I learned that the Canadian legal system is just as inept as the American system. With the opportunity to make this idiot an example that racism, in any form, won’t be tolerated, they chose to allow ignorance as an excuse. Not enough evidence to show it was racial? How about, uh, common sense?

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 9, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      In fairness, in the law intent is a crucial part of a crime.

      Pretty tough to prove in court that someone intended to do something they claim they didn’t even know they had done.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        True, but it’s very difficult to see how any reasonable person could believe this guy’s defense. Last time I checked they don’t sell bananas at hockey games so this guy had to havebrought it with him. Either he brought it for a snack but decided to use it as a projectile and coincidentally threw it at the only black player in the game or he knew damn well what he was doing all along. Common sense makes me believe the latter is true.

  6. mojosmagic - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Nothanks doesn’t it strike you ass odd that he he could have thrown the banana at the 40 or so white guys who played that day but chose the one black guy? I think the judge needs a coconut thrown at his head .

  7. mojosmagic - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    And Dave I didn’t know the gun was loaded when I shot that guy to death.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      Without being mean-spirited about it, that’s a really poor analogy.

  8. hystoracle - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    It was a Drive By Fruiting!

  9. cakrywyj - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    @nothanks No offense to your in-depth survey of 2 people who may or may not be completely oblivious to the world…but I think you’ll need more than those 2 and an African American president being elected as proof that racism is going away being as though this happened in Canada and if he didn’t know throwing a banana at a black guy would seem racist, I’m sure he has no idea the United States has a black president, either. It’s also important to note that HIS LAWYER most likely advised him to plead ignorance because, let’s be honest here, what else was he supposed to say to get out of it? I’m 30 and my wife is in her early 20’s and both of us absolutely know that throwing a banana at a black guy is amazingly racist, so age shouldn’t be a factor at all. I just think you found the two closest people in your area without any common sense, which seems to be even more prevalent than racism, especially in the legal world. And, seriously, your black neighbor has no idea that banana tossing is racist? In the south?? Sounds a bit unbelievable.

  10. drewsylvania - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    There’s a burden of proof problem, I’m guessing.

    Maybe whichever business he works for will add some additional penalty. If this were another NHL player throwing the banana peel, he’d have picked up a suspension.

  11. stakex - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Lets not be ignorant and try to prentend this guy didn’t know what he was doing. It was a racialy motivated act… no doubt about it.

    With that said, I have no idea how you could say the courts are letting him off lightly. He threw a banana on the ice during a hockey game. How is that even a crime? Every time I have seen someone throw something on the ice at a game they are simply removed from the building… there are almost never charges filed. Why should that change simply because it might have been a racial statement? I don’t agree with this nimrod, but I fail to see a criminal case here. Like it or not, its not against the law to hate someone for the color of their skin.

    Sure there is the argument that he might have been trying to hit Simmonds, thus its assault and assault with racial motivation is a hate crime. But there is no proof this guy was actually trying to hit him with the banana… which is why there is no case.

  12. cakrywyj - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    I rolled through a stop sign on a one way street with no intersections once and got a fine close to what this moron got. What he did is a bit worse than throwing a banana.. It’s a hate crime, no, I’m not saying jail time.. But at least some community service wouldn’t hurt him, plus a stiffer it might send a good message since this story is being publicized.

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