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Wilbon: Why Violence Is Accepted in Hockey

In Michael Wilbon's weekly Q&A today, a reader asked Mike why he thought there was a double standard toward on-court/on-ice violence in hockey and basketball. A bit of the reply:

Some of it's simply [rooted] in tradition, the dumb notion that, "This is the way we've always done it, so this is the way we have to do it." All sports were violent at the turn of the 20th century and 50, 60 years into the 20th century. ...
But, much of the REACTION and overreaction and the "well, hockey's different" answer is related to race. People are much more afraid of black people being physical than they are white people, plain and simple. ... Hockey would be so much better without the fighting. Do I want to see Ovechkin and Malkin and Crosby play or a couple of goons batter each other, while I'm sitting there with a couple of 12 year olds? Sorry, I know which camp I'm in.

(This was the 14th question in the chat -- about six "page downs" on my PC)

By Jon DeNunzio  |  May 4, 2009; 4:13 PM ET
 
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Comments

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty peturbed with the NHL's lack of disciplinary action against Brown for his hit in Game 1 Det-Ana.

Comparing Brown's and Brashear's hits, I see only two differences (which I'll get to in a minute). Both hits were late. Neither "victim" was facing the aggressor. Both players were injured.

Both hit"... an unsuspecting player. It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury." -- Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell issues a 5 game suspension to Donald, and ZERO games to brown.

How can this be fair? What is the Caps' management's response?

Tarik - I really want to know what the heck is going on here!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:12 PM

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Because Basketball players are wussies as is Wilbon

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

While we're at it, we really need to do away with all of the fighting in BOXING. Now THERE is a sport that has way too much fighting in it.

Posted by: Baildog | May 4, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea what to say to that.

rachel216, email me at jmu.capsgirl at gmail. I've got some links for you.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 4, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And if Wilbon knew anything about hockey, which he doesn't, he would know that "Ovechkin and Malkin and Crosby" wouldn't fight unless they couldn't avoid it. Or, unless someone's nads were available in which case Crosby would give it a go.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

PENGUINS SUCK!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon also missed the point in hockey that Crosby and Malkin and Ovie cannot play freely unless there is "prison yard" enforcement by teammates so goons don't hack, whack and cheap shot them all over the ice.

Stick to PTI and crap you know - I'm tired of bandwagoners pontificating over a sport they clearly do not understand, especially the need for the ugly stuff so these guys can play without having to worry about someone always running them.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 4, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

What does Wilbon know about hockey anyways? "People are much more afraid of black people being physical than they are white people, plain and simple"

This comment sums up Wilbon's ignorance on the subject. Has anyone mentioned to him that our leading enforcer is Black?

What this really boils down to is that Hockey is a collision sport that is much more physical than the contact sport Basketball. Fighting has always been a part of the game, unlike basketball. I wish Wilbon would stick to what he knows and stop trying to appear relevant on a topic that he is clearly a newbie on.

Posted by: PonMan | May 4, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Has Wilbon ever heard of Boxing? I'm pretty sure the boxers aren't white. Wilbon is an idiot, he needs to go back to Chicago and stop commenting on a sport he knows nothing about.

Posted by: F0X7 | May 4, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Anytime Mike doesn't have the answer or isn't sure of something he says it's due to race.

Posted by: capsfan77 | May 4, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

You know when Jim Cramer went wild claiming Bernanke and Hank Paulson knew nothing about the depth of the financial crisis?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOVXh4xM-Ww

Here's to hoping someone will give Wilbon the same treatment about his hockey commentary.

You know NOTHING Wilbon!

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 4, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

If Wilbon is talking you can predict that he will inject race into the conversation where there is no need for it. An answer to the basketball vs. hockey question that results in an answer about people being afraid of violent black men is just bizarre. Wilbon does not know hockey. If he has been to five games in his life I would be surprised. He is no different than his know-nothing brothers on WTEM (Thompson, Mitchell, and Walker) who wouldn't be caught dead at a hockey game.

If Wilbon had taken five minutes to learn something about hockey he might be surprised to learn that there is very little fighting in hockey. There are a lot of hits, scrums, and pushing and shoving but those are not fights. The NHL has taken steps in the last ten years to put a serious crimp on fighting where there didn't used to be. But Wilbon would not know that because he is only willing to cover sports that black men play.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 4, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Shut up Michal Wilbon! (Sorry)

Just sent it, jmu_capsgirl.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

When they start allowing NBA players to slam each other into the boards while carrying weapons then we can have this discussion. Sorry, this is comparing Apples to Oranges. Having an acceptable release of aggression on the opponent that doesn't involve the stick is a necessary evil. If you eject and/or suspend a player every time he gets in a fight you are essentially condoning running into an opposing goalie or taking runs at star players.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 4, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, I generally like Wilbon, but I totally disagree with him here. Hockey fighting has nothing to do with race or people's fear of black people fighting.

If there was some perverse "fear" of black people fighting, why does boxing exist? I would assume the majority of heavyweight contenders are African American.

Fighting in hockey has to do with the nature of the sport- the collisions, the body checks for puck possession, and players' inability to avoid contact. Fighting arises when players abuse the nature of hockey to gain an illegal edge. Fighting is the other team's way of saying "Hey, the ref didn't see that, but I did". Comparisons to basketball are ludicrous. Yes, there is "contact" in basketball, but it is hardly a physical sport like hockey or football.

Yeah, there's also no fighting in Tennis, Golf, Swimming, and the majority of other sports. That doesnt mean that hockey is similar to any of them, regardless of the race of the athletes.

Posted by: BondraMan | May 4, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that boxers are not all white

Posted by: F0X7 | May 4, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If a White journalist had made that comment Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson would have been all over him as being a racist. Another Wilbon stereo typecasting that all white people are scared of black people. Shame on you.

Posted by: zosodave | May 4, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

i'm not a wilbon hater like some around here, but he's way off base with this analysis. fighting is accepted in hockey because it has been part of the game forever. to my knowledge, fighting has never been accepted in basketball or football. fighting is not necessarily accepted in baseball, but i havent seen any movement towards eliminating the bench clearing brawls that occur occasionally in baseball.

hockey fighting is not about race, its about whats been accepted in the sport. i'm not condoing fighting in hockey nor the reason it exists, nor am i suggesting it be banned. i pointed out to wilbon that two of the noted enforcers in this league are black and it doesnt seem to cause people any issue.

the last comment in his blog was about what would happen if fred funk and phil mickelson duked it out on the course. so patently absurd and not even a good comparison given the genteel nature of golf.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 4, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon... please stick with football/basketball... at least you have some credibility there....maybe...

Posted by: mdstden | May 4, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

LOL, it doesn't suprise me that I accidently typed Michal. =) I meant MICHAEL Wilbon.

Fighting is part of the game.

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon almost sucks as much as the Penguins.

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 4, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

WaPo

Can you please NOT put anything on here related to hockey that is uttered by Wilbon and Kornheiser? They're such utter ignoramuses when it comes to the sport that they shouldn't comment in their "role" as "sports experts".

Like most professionals, when I don't know something, I keep my yap closed. They apparently are incapable of doing this. Please use your editorial control and keep this ignorance and stupidity off the blog.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Adam Sandler vs. Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore was classic. "the price is wrong bi*ch." hehehe

Posted by: zosodave | May 4, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hockey players know when a fight is over and it's left on the ice. It's respected, it's honored and it's generally understood. There's history and prestige behind it and there are many unwritten rules behind each bout.

Posted by: cappies | May 4, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I watch PTI almost daily. If you've been watching lately you'd know that Wilbon is actually a Blackhawks fan and played youth Hockey.

I don't think you have to be a hockey hater to dislike the fighting. I personally think it has its place but I can see the point of those who don't like it.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I 100% believe that the length of suspension of Brashear was racially influenced. If you think race plays no factor in hockey, take a look at any of Brashear's video's on youtube and read people's responses.

Posted by: Padow1 | May 4, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the majority of boxing contenders these days aren't even American.

I don't watch much baseball, but it seems to me that they have bench clearing brawls on a fairly regular basis.

In hockey, on the other hand, the fighting that occurs is for all intents and purposes regulated, referreed, and almost choreographed. You don't see many bench-clearing brawls, or really any fights that are ever "out of control." Two guys square up, do their dance, and then the refs break it up.

Posted by: Baildog | May 4, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope that we, the underdogs in this series, can pull one out of the fire tonight. It's a must win if we want to have a chance of winning the series. Look for the Penguins to play like Carolina did last night.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 4, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl: Thanks for those, probably everyone here is really sick of me always gushing about Neuvy but those pics are soooooo adorable! Thanks again. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.: Kornheiser (or however you spell it, I don't really care) is worse than Michael Wilbon. I can't stand that guy!

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Does this guy know anything about hockey? How can you compare hockey to basketball? Basketball isn't a contact sport. Neither is soccer, and there's no fighting in it. Hockey is more like box lacross, which has fighting. In both sports it's technically illegal, ie:you get a penalty for doing it, but you don't get ejected from the game.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 4, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to a "reporter" to comment on something he knows nothing about.

NHL has been watered down in every way.

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 4, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wilbon's theory doesn't carry water:

Hockey=more violent than basketball and football but players generally don't get in trouble off the ice

Basketball and football=less violent than hockey but those leagues are full of thugs, wife beaters, drunk drivers, et. al. who can't stay out of trouble off the court/field (see Jones, Pacman; Vick, Michael; Burress, Plaxico and many, many more)

Posted by: playahatah | May 4, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, Wilbon is a decent hockey fan, who likes watching the sport during the Olympics and grew up watching Chicago.

That said, I think he's way off-base here. There's a bunch of factors in play here, the brutality of the sport, equipment, tradition. It is way too easy to just attribute why fighting exists in one sport and not the other to just one reason.

Posted by: Joran | May 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

When hockey and baseball players are widely referred to as "thugs" for fighting during games, as basketball players are nowadays, then I'll begin to believe things have changed and Wilbon is wrong in his observations.

Until then, Wilbon has an extremely valid point.

Post-racial America? Not by a long shot... yet!

And zosodave -- who is Jessie Jackson? What has she said about hockey lately? Or did you mean JESSE Jackson?

Literacy. Pass it on.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | May 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@Padow1,

you said "I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I 100% believe that the length of suspension of Brashear was racially influenced." I tend to agree with you, but that has nothing to do with wilbon being an idiot, and injecting race where race is NOT a factor. The question was not "why was brash suspended and not Brown", which probably would have been a valid place to interject the race card that he so loves to play. To say that fighting is allowed in hockey and not basketball because of the predominant skin-tone of the participants is just ludicrous.

Posted by: GusDaMan | May 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

ouvan59 hit the nail on the head...

Having guys skating at top speed with a weapon in hand makes hockey rather unique compared to the other sports. Baseball also has a weapon (a ball thrown at 90+ mph) and they have their own code of conduct for dealing with players that go too far (you throw at one of ours... we're gonna throw at one of yours).

For Wilbon to suggest that race has ANYTHING to do with the way fighting is handled in hockey versus the other sports shows how easily (and foolishly) he allows race to cloud his viewpoint.

Posted by: chombie13 | May 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

rachel, not a problem. This one's not of Neuvy, but its a pretty cool pick of our boy Varly: http://www.flickr.com/photos/britannia/3418613877/

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 4, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon has publicly stated he'd rather watch soccer than hockey.

Good for him.

Now, if he'd only shut up about hockey, a sport he doesn't watch or care about...

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@playahatah
I remember seeing a report earlier in the year that showed major criminal convictions amongst the 4 major sports and hockey was waaay at the bottom. It's sad any sport should have these records but it's true and actually overwhelming.

Posted by: cappies | May 4, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

How will Alzner or Sloan match up against Crosby and/or Malkin in the corner against the boards?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 4, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The race card shows up, imagine that.
Will it ever end ?

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 4, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Also, Wilbon has probably never had an intentional high stick hit him in the face or been slashed. It really pisses you off.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 4, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon's Hockey Analysis: Fail.

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 4, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl: That pic of Varly is painful to look at!! Ouch!! How does he do that?

Did you take that pic of Neuvy with his phone? You were right in front of him??!! Wow, he's lookin' real handsome in that pic, with his suit and tie. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 4, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan obviously knows nothing about hockey living in Florida....how can the Caps be the underdogs when they're the #2 seed and the Pens are #4,not to mention the fact that the Pens need to now win 4 out of 6(67%),and we need 3 out of 6(50%)?I'm going to the game,and just sorry he's stuck in Florida.BTW,only kidding,he's a friend of mine.

Posted by: roccky | May 4, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Comments about tonights game anyone?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 4, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@roccky, finally - someone talking about the series. Hey, they have twoo teams down here you know. You may be going to the game but I'm in Key West.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

rachel, not my photo, I'm assuming she was either sitting behind the bench or in one of the photog spots along the rink.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

This is a unwelcome distraction to what's important...the game tonight and not Wilbon's racist comments.

PENGUINS SUCK!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 4, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think we all agree that Wilbon is offbase regarding fighting.

But I am more interested in the points made by GregS and Padow1. How is it that Brash got 5 games and there were no suspensions given for equally "dirty" hits in the Ana-Det and Van-Chi series? What a joke!

Posted by: KevGriffey | May 4, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

If Wilbon wants to look at race in sports, let him ask Colin why Brashear was suspended and not Brown.

To intimate that white on white fighting is different than black on black or black on white in terms of hockey it just silly. Hockey "goons" have come in all colors and in all years of the NHL. The reason they're called "goons" is that they were very successful in their role as enforcer.

How ticked off were people about Pronger's clotheslining and only getting one game suspension? They were, and still are, calling him a goon. He's mighty white. How about Claude Lemieux, Bertuzzi, Parros and dozens of others? Tie Domi?

Come on! Race has nothing to do with this.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 4, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a retard. Basketball doesn't have fighting, because they don't allow hitting, or checking, or ANY body contact.

They give out penalty shots after how many team fouls in a half? In hockey if a team "fouls" that many times in a period, they would be 2 man down all game.

You can't compare them, because they are totally different sports on so many levels. Scores of 2-1 vs 100-101. Hitting vs fouls constantly.

You'd have a better comparison between basketball and baseball, but not hockey.

This is about a racially relevant as which milkshake tastes better, chocolate, strawberry or vanilla! They are predominantly different colors.. must be racist.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | May 4, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

WIlbon,

If you take the violence and physicality you are left with Bandy. Get off the bandwagon and quit talking out of your rear

Posted by: trunkenmath | May 4, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Please don't put anything written by Wilbon on here, he's an idiot who admits that he dislikes hockey and knows nothing about it, yet somehow that doesn't stop him from babbling on anyway.
Hockey players fight because they have passion and they live by a code. It has nothing to do with race as much as a feeling of team and a desire to stand up for each other.

Posted by: capsnducks | May 4, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I 100% believe that the length of suspension of Brashear was racially influenced. If you think race plays no factor in hockey, take a look at any of Brashear's video's on youtube and read people's responses.

Posted by: Padow1 | May 4, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

its you opinion. but i think you are way off base. how long did mcsorley get suspended after he whacked brash in the head? indefinite. that was a white guy whacking a black guy.

the length of brash's suspension had to do with his reputation not his skin color. and please dont use the comments that the youtube or hockeyfights.com morons make as any indication of race relations in hockey. those people are idiots.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 4, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I've thought about this a little more and I'd like to ask Mr. Wilbon why he thinks that people treat baseball fights the same way they do basketball. And do you think the fear of basketball fights is more real because of the lack of a buffer between the fans and the players. And I'm sorry but the fact that it has always been a part of hockey does play into it whether he wants to consider it or not.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 4, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I 100% believe that the length of suspension of Brashear was racially influenced. If you think race plays no factor in hockey, take a look at any of Brashear's video's on youtube and read people's responses."

@Padow - Brashear's suspension had entirely to do with the fact that his hit severely injured the player. That and he has a well documented historical record that I'm sure you are aware of. Personally I think the only thing that should go into it is intent so the other questionable hits should receive the same punishment but that's not the way the NHL does it. They suspend based on result. Dale Hunter's hit was much less egregious than some that we've seen but he severely injured the player so he received a historic suspension. Todd Bertuzzi, Marty McSorley among others have been suspended along similar guidelines based on the result not the intent. And yes, race still plays a huge factor in how people view certain things but basing your analysis on what people post on youtube is silly and certainly not representative of the average human being.

Posted by: ouvan59 | May 4, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Although I disagree with Wilbon's reasoning I agree with his sentiment. Hockey would be a much better sport without fighting. First fights disrupt the flow of the game and slows things down, secondly big hits are much more entertaining than fights, and finally hockey fights SUCK, they circle around each other throw a couple crappy punches, pull each others shirts off and fall down.

Plus in any other sport you get suspended for throwing a punch, it makes hockey look out of touch, just one reason why its by the 4th sport of the big 4.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | May 4, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a racist, pure and simple.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 4, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't like fighting in hockey, either, but to ascribe it to racism is just stupid, arrogant and elitist. Michael, take that chip off your shoulder. Why do people like Wilbon and so many others in Washington ascribe everything to race? Talk about an inferiority complex.

Hockey endures fights for many reasons. It's not race, it is class. Regrettably, there are goon leagues (think of "Slap Shot," the movie) where fighting is encouraged. Brash played in a Quebec goon league during the lockout, and had a warrant out for his arrest, as I recall (not sure how it was resolved, since he was a Flyer at the time).

Hockey is simply a more intense, more physical game than anyother, including Football, where more time is spent in huddles, timeouts and commercial breaks than actually running plays. Not true in Hockey.

The answer to curb fighting in hockey, at least at the NHL level, is to stiffen the penalties -- automatic 10 minute misconducts, on top of 5 minute majors, ought to help. But the recent rules changes that reward skill over goonery has already done a great deal.

Posted by: bucknelldad | May 4, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a racist idiot. Keep the fighting in the game. The players want it there, it's part of the sport, and it has NOTHING to do with race. Brashear would knock his teeth in for that ridiculous comment...

Posted by: wspanic72 | May 4, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, all you guys keep saying that "hockey" is this and "hockey" is that. What you really mean is the Canadian influenced NHL game we see here. If you watch the Swedish Elite league or Olympic hockey, there isn't any fighting to speak of. Clearly, fighting isn't an inherent aspect of "hockey," it is traditional over here. There isn't any reason that fighting has to be in the game. The fact is that there are a lot of people that like fighting. If the NHL is ever going to be as popular as the other sports here, it is going to have to look a lot more like Olympic hockey, and that's fine by me.

Posted by: isaacc7 | May 4, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hockey is a contact sport featuring high speed action. It is a violent game by nature and checking is a legal part of the game. IT HAS VIRTUALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE.

Posted by: congero | May 4, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Dumbest answer imaginable. Wilbon is an idiot. Please don't post any more of his drivel here.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | May 4, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, all I've learned here is that a person can get their a$$e$ handed to them but as long as the bleeding stops, the person responsible for it can get off scott-free (with the exception of a penalty - big whoop). I saw some of the hits that came after Brashear's and they looked a lot worse than Brashear's so it still strikes me as discriminatory (not necessarily race as a protected class) that stiffer penalties weren't issued to the other gentlemen.

I'm not even going to read Wilbon's Q&A since I get the feeling I'll just get fired up about it. Let's Goo Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 4, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

jcbcmb68

I hate grammar Nazis, sorry for the "i" in JESSE. Pretty sexiest of you to assume Jessie with an "i" is a female name.

Lighten up.

I whent too Fairfacts countee skoolz.

Posted by: zosodave | May 4, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Ten minutes to go. LET'S GO CAPS, LET'S GO CAPS!!! Even Wilbon can cheer for them if he wants. Make some noise, crowd, I want to hear you!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 4, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

C*A*P*S Caps Caps Caps!!!!

Posted by: zosodave | May 4, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon is an idiot, but I have to agree that fighting is not a necessary element of the game. The argument for its existence is basically the same as the old nuclear deterrent theory.

If fighting is so necessary, why does it drop to virtually zero during the playoffs? Why is there none in college hockey? Why is there none in international hockey? How come it's always the same players fighting?

Do you really need a fight to enjoy a hockey game?

Posted by: Longgoneposter | May 4, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse


I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I 100% believe that the length of suspension of Brashear was racially influenced. If you think race plays no factor in hockey, take a look at any of Brashear's video's on youtube and read people's responses.

Posted by: Padow1
________________________________________
Are you saying that the NHL was influenced by the comments left on YouTube? That is bizarre. If anything the NHL gave Brashear a break with a five game suspension. It is in their best interest to have black players on the screen to attract black fans and to get black kids into hockey.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 4, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

What a brazen racist remark, but then consider the source. Wilbon has a living off this type of material. What is unfortunate is that his useless schtick made it to the hockey section.

Posted by: burbworks | May 4, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't really like hockey, I actually usually like Mike Wilbon. It's a short list that makes up his stupid comments, but this easily tops the list. Incredibly flippant, weak minded and uneducated opinion. I'd expect Jay Mariotti or Skip Bayless' populist public pandering behinds to make a comment like this, but this is an embarrassing thing for someone as bright and normally level headed as Mike Wilbon to make. He has nothing to apologize for (in my opinion) but he sure needs to filter out the useless race related comments when they have no place. They really weaken his future remarks when race really IS a factor. Truly embarrassing

Posted by: waylandadmin | May 4, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The most inflamitory thing he said was "People are much more afraid of black people being physical than they are white people, plain and simple. ... " But he also began with contextualizing to the history of the sports over hundreds of years. Extremely big African Americans were coming into a dominant position in basketball while segregation, KKK, MLK, Malcolm X, etc. Beserk basically means white rage. Vikings had a Beserker that might be equivalant to a hockey enforcer. Maybe that is where Drill Sargents came from?! White people could be innately more violent England still has a Royal family. There national anthem is still all about God saving the Queen and how happy they are to pour gifts on her. But I don't think that is the point.

Oh can't forget to mention how slavery could have been averted by sun tan lotion. But pro basketball is just awful. It's ruined by favoritism by the refs. When Dwayne Wade is guaranteed 20 foul shots a game, who cares if he ends up avg. 30? College basketball is much more intertaining. I'm in the opposite view. Basketball should be more physical and there should be a lot less fouls called.

But there is a national affect on the kids. White kids will be more inclined to be bullies and the darker your skin is the more like Carmello Anthony your likely to be. I'm thinking of the fight that broke out where he felt compelled to jump in and slaped someone. Then he ran. Teachers, refs, cops; it plays out in life to some extent.

Posted by: chavez66 | May 4, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

You can drag in the race card on anything. Mike Brown didn't get suspended because he is a Jew and so is Bettman. They stick together.

Or maybe Bettman is afraid of Brown's father because he owns a Harley-Davidson franchise and he's got lots of biker friends. Any more nonsense?

The Rangers did not benefit from the suspension. They lost their best PK man.. They would have benefited from a five-minute penalty which Brashear didn't get and Brown did.

Posted by: idov | May 5, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon,

Assuming you can read, read the following:

The league looks at a player's record. Brashear...has a record. A long one. Which is why he got the suspension he did, and why Brown didn't. Brashear's hit was missed by the officials (no penalty, just a subsequent roughing minor for a scuffle with Mara.

Betts was badly injured on Brashear's hit, and the league takes that into consideration (Betts had a broken orbital bone). Brown's hit, however...was assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct, leaving Anaheim without Brown for the majority of the game, and giving Detroit a 5-minute powerplay. Also, Detroit's player was not injured and returned to action. Plus...Brown does not have a record.

Also, I guess the people of Calgary, Alberta (not exactly a multicultural bastion and a place (Western Canada) you took some fairly disgusting potshots at) should, as such, not be as gaga as they are over their captain (Jarome Iginla, a guy who could easily manage a Gordie Howe hat trick), and people throughout the hockey community who continually extol Iginla's leadership qualities. When Iginla fought LeCavalier in the 2004 final...that was two captains who were going to do whatever it took to win. I didn't see it as Black/White, I saw it two guys fighting, and no more/no less.

Don Cherry (who you have this pathological hatred of) has spoken so many times about his love of Iginla that it's almost comical and it's because Iginla isn't afraid to drop 'em if needbe (plus he has tons of skill). The colour of Iginla's skin doesn't make him good or bad, it's his character and leadership that do. If I needed a captain for my hockey team, my first pick would be Iginla, and my second pick would be Mike Richards (Philly) because of their leadership skills.

Wilbon, you're a bloody idiot.

Posted by: jcurrin | May 5, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

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