(Rant) - Yes, Joel Ward did commit a bad penalty on Tuesday night that helped the New York Rangers take out the Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime. However, no human being should be subjected to the tweets that Ward has had to deal with after the loss. It has to be difficult for Ward to be one of the few black players in hockey. That does not stop the fans from engaging in disgusting behavior after he made a key mistake. It is horrid treatment and all of these fans should be ashamed. Twitter is not a joke and fans should think before they post something for the world to see.
I’ll tell you one thing, Joel Ward might have the least enviable job in all of sports. Do something good, people drop N bombs. Do something bad, people drop N bombs. Guy can’t win. Racist idiots popping up to call him racist shit. But last night, sadly, should somewhat vindicate Bruins fans. As a group, not the moronic individuals who actually said racist things. After the game 7 loss the Bruins fan community as a whole was lambasted on every news outlet in the country as racist pigs because a few idiots tweeted that they were mad the B’s lost to a “nigga.” And the tweets they were found and cited were racist as all hell, no doubt about it. But for some reason everyone was lumped together. As if black and gold were the new colors of the KKK, or if you’d ever sung Zombie Nation after a goal you might as well had burned a cross. Which is easy to do in a sports town with a very colorless history, like Boston. But even if it was Yawkey’s way, it’s unfair to still hold over our heads.
Last night showed that there are racists everywhere. Doesn’t matter if Joel Ward scored the GWG vs Boston or New York or fucking Nigeria: bigots will take there 140 characters on twitter and waste 6 of them on a hateful word. They’re called trolls and the internet is full of them. The same prejudiced Capitals fans who tweeted last night probably tweeted they were pissed it had to be Ward who scored the Game 7 winner. That’s the way racists work. They always hate. And it’s not just hockey, it’s every sport. I’m sure there are tweets by black people after a white boy wins a basketball game saying they can’t believe they lost to a dude who can’t jump. I don’t have any proof to support that but I don’t need it because I have one fact: the world is full of idiots. And they come in every race, creed, and color. So I feel sorry for Joel Ward. By all accounts he’s a stand-up guy who does zero wrong except lace up skates in a predominantly white league with predominantly white fans. But recognize it’s a very slim minority of us that are racists. And there are some rooting for every team, even his.