Racism continues to be a disgraceful issue in the National Hockey League in 2011.  Although the sport has drawn more black players over the years, the NHL remains light-years behind other pro leagues when it comes to diversity and respect for minorities.

Wayne Simmonds, a black player for the Philadelphia Flyers, attempted a shootout during a recent  game against the Detroit Red Wings. Moments before the attempt, a racist fan threw a banana peel on the rink that landed inches away from the net.

After the game, Simmonds responded to the incident by saying, “That’s just somebody being ignorant. When you’re a black man playing in a predominately white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that.”

However, a black man in America should not have to expect blatant racism in an organized professional sport in this era. The black community can send a strong message to the NHL, the fans and those who are employed by the league, by boycotting and speaking out against the sponsors of the NHL. Why should our community support companies that supports a historically racist organization?

Other racist incidents in the NHL include a fan throwing a banana at Kevin Weekes in 2002; Petter Worrell being called a monkey by Craig Berube in 1997; and the general manager of the Ontario Hockey League called team captain Treveor Daley the N-word in 2003. –amir shaw

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.