Monday, December 19, 2005

And then there are those that just don't get it!

Well that was a quick expression of humanity at its best. In a previous posting, I recounted the glad tidings of joy exhibited by a guy named Tom Hedican of North Bay, a fellow that exhibited all that's best in people.

The digital bits had barely been circulated to the Blogger home site before another story made the rounds that makes you realize we still have a long road ahead of us.

Hockey fans in Chicoutimi presented their worst face over the weekend as Ted Nolan coach of the Moncton Wildcats brought his squad into Chicoutimi for a Quebec junior league match. Nolan who is of First Nation's descent was shocked and dismayed by the recpetion that greeted him as he coached his squad through the game.

The Chicoutimi crowd exhibited some reprehensible behaviour by uttering racial ephithets and making obscene gestures and racist gestures to the Moncton coach. Nolan, a former NHL coach of the year with Buffalo has seen a lot in his career, but nothing prepared him for the outright racism that he faced in Chicoutimi.

The folks there have more than embarrased themselves, they've shown a side of their culture that is not a pretty sight and should give them all a cause to ponder exactly their place in a modern society.

The management of the Sagueneens have been quick to get a press release out saying how disgusted they are at the behaviour of a number of their fans, but their disgust seems rather hollow. Nolan reported that the security guards at the rink were laughing at the comments and did nothing to expel those that were the worst offenders.

Management claim Nolan may have misunderstood some of the actions of the fans as racist, when they were apparently doing a tomahawk chop to celebrate a goal by one of their own players, Francois Verreault-Paul who is of aboriginal heriitgae. Now perhaps that is correct, know one really knows for sure but it certainly doesn't excuse the other actions by their fans, Nolan probably knows racism when he comes across it and it seems he feels that he has seen it and didn't like what he saw this weekend. The Sagueneens management may be talking the good talk about ridding sport of racism, but frankly they're nowhere near walking any kind of walk.

Nolan deserves much more than just an apology, but one wonders if the folks of Chicoutimi really get it anyways. They claim that the behaviour of their fans is not indicative of the beliefs of the people of their community, but you would have a hard time persuading Nolan of that at the moment.

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