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. Gillette Stadium will host Bruins-Habs alumni game ahead of Winter Classic

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    2016 Winter Classic Logo

    The contest will air on Dec. 31 while the Classic itself is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

  2. Ryan Murray: ‘I have to show up and prove it’

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT

    Ryan Murray AP

    Staying healthy would help, too.

  3. Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    The Seal Beach Detention Center isn’t exactly Shawshank.

  4. Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars training camp Getty Images

    “I relaxed down there and came back with the same attitude and everything kind of took care of itself.”

  5. Zubrus on unconditional waivers for purpose of terminating his contract

    Jul 29, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Veteran forward had just four goals and six assists in 74 games last season.

  6. Talbot knows he has a ‘great opportunity’ in Edmonton

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Cam Talbot AP

    Can he give the Oilers the goaltending they so badly need?

  7. Report: Rangers prospect Andersson headed to North America

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    ERC Ingolstadt v EV Zug - Champions Hockey League Getty Images

    Spent last season with Lugano in the Swiss League.

  8. Report: Visnovsky considering European options

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: Lubomir Visnovsky #11 of the New York Islanders in action against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. The New York Islanders won, 1-0. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Potentially a move to Switzerland, or the Czech League.

  9. Sabres name Cunneyworth AHL head coach

    Jul 28, 2015, 8:39 PM EDT

    Randy Cunneyworth Getty Images

    Returning him to Rochester for a third time.

  10. Orpik undergoes wrist surgery, should be ready for season opener

    Jul 28, 2015, 7:39 PM EDT

    PA: Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Washington d-man is expected to miss the next two weeks of offseason training.

  11. Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:39 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    Nice payday after posting a career-high in goals this season.

  12. For Pens, Tuesday’s moves were all about depth and finances up front

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:23 PM EDT

    Jim Rutherford AP

    “When you look at the structure of our salaries and our cap, it’s important to get those bottom-six cap hits in better shape.”

  13. Journeyman Steckel signs in German League

    Jul 28, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

    David Steckel AP

    With the Nurnberg Ice Tigers.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Holtby (2446)
  2. D. Stepan (2395)
  3. G. Bettman (2291)
  4. A. Larsson (2215)
  5. A. Semin (1604)
  1. L. Couture (1423)
  2. J. Toews (1397)
  3. A. Chiasson (1315)
  4. C. Ehrhoff (1306)
  5. M. Johansson (1267)