Skip to content

Toronto’s Bozak under fire for Michael Jackson costume

Oct 31, 2012, 1:52 AM EDT

A year after Phoenix forward Raffi Torres came under heavy scrutiny for dressing as Jay-Z, another NHLer is facing a similar storm of controversy.

Late Tuesday night, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak posted a picture of his Halloween costume — Michael Jackson — and was immediately met with criticism for dressing in blackface.

The picture in question:

source:

Bozak pulled the picture shortly after tweeting it, but defended his actions in a subsequent tweet.

“That’s a tribute to one of my fave artists,” he wrote. “For anyone saying its racist is crazy!”

Last October, Torres faced similar condemnation after he and his wife attended a Halloween party dressed as Jay-Z and Beyonce.

The photo was tweeted by Coyotes teammate Paul Bisonette and opened Torres up to harsh criticisms, with two prominent journalists — Bruce Arthur of the National Post and Bill Platschke of the Los Angeles Times — penning columns about the ramifications of wearing blackface.

The negative response to Torres’ costume was enough for the Phoenix organization to issue a statement defending him.

“There was absolutely nothing racist about Raffi and his wife’s costumes,” the statement read. “Raffi is a huge fan of Jay-Z and his wife loves Beyonce. It was a Halloween party. The fact that this was reported is ridiculous. We will have no further comment.”

At the time of writing, the Maple Leafs have not issued a statement on the Bozak situation.

Latest Posts
  1. Volchenkov unlikely to return to Nashville

    May 30, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    He will be an unrestricted free agent in July.

  2. Leiweke sticking around as MLSE boss

    May 30, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

    Tim Leiweke AP

    The search for his replacement continues.

  3. Ducks juggle lines ahead of Game 7

    May 30, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Fleischmann draws in for Etem.

  4. After prepping for three years, Franson excited to test free agency

    May 30, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Cody Franson Getty Images

    For the first time in his career the 27-year-old is about to hit the open market.

  5. Report: Devils won’t sign Anthony Brodeur

    May 30, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    Anthony Brodeur Anthony Brodeur

    He’ll be eligible to re-enter next month’s NHL Draft.

  6. Video: ‘We’re right there,’ says Lundqvist

    May 30, 2015, 1:08 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Hard to blame the goalie in this one.

  7. Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

    May 30, 2015, 12:17 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    “I don’t know if we’re so young and dumb and don’t know any better…”

  8. Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot

    May 29, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Might explain what occurred in the first period.

  9. Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers

    May 29, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    150530_LightningWinGame7 Getty Images

    Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the Blackhawks-Ducks series.

  10. Paquette enters back into Lightning lineup for Game 7

    May 29, 2015, 8:21 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Rangers also make one change to the lineup.

  11. WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Eastern Conference Final Game 7

    May 29, 2015, 7:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    The winner, as you know, goes to the Stanley Cup Final.

  12. Coyotes reinstate color analyst Boynton after guilty plea in casino incident

    May 29, 2015, 6:39 PM EDT

    boynton Getty Images

    “I’ve met with Nick several times and he knows he made a terrible mistake.”

  13. Boudreau mulls line changes ahead of Game 7

    May 29, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Bruce Boudreau AP

    And it looks like Tomas Fleischmann might replace Emerson Etem, again.

Featured video

Which teams have the Game 7 edge?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. N. Horton (1311)
  2. A. Vermette (1268)
  3. R. Nash (1230)
  4. P. Kane (1193)
  5. D. Bylsma (1149)