- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
SNYDER: Zero tolerance for cowards with keyboards
Question of the Day
When the Washington Capitals beat Boston in a first-round series Wednesday night, some Bruins fans reacted with racist tweets.
The former incident resulted in about 170 injuries and $5 million in property damage. The latter incident’s toll can’t be calculated with body counts and hard numbers.
But the stream of vile and vulgar comments directed at Caps forward Joel Ward via Twitter — simply because he’s a black man and scored the game-winning goal - surely costs us something as a society.
There’s no way to read the offensive tweets — most of which can’t be repeated here or in polite company — without paying a price. You might lose some faith in your fellow man. You might lose the illusion of “post-racial” America. You might lose a piece of your mind or soul.
But unless you have a soft spot for white sheets and swastikas, you’re going to lose something.
For folks who want to see for themselves, several sites have a list of the uncensored, not-safe-for-work tweets, including CapitalsOutsider.com, SBNation.com and Chirpstory.com. If you can’t stomach a bunch of F-bombs, N-words and other assorted expletives, here are two of the tamer posts to give you a taste:
• “The only reason Joel ward is playing hockey is because he got cut from the basketball team in high school #gorilla”
• “Warning to Joel Ward. Your one of three black guys in Canada. I will find you … and I will kill you.”
Caps owner Ted Leonsis was absolutely right Thursday in assessing the nastiness, calling it “Keyboard courage and ignorance” on his blog. “What these people have said and done is unforgivable,” he wrote. “I hope they are now publicly identified and pay a huge price for their beliefs. There should be zero tolerance for this kind of hate mongering.”
Many of the offending accounts had been deleted by Thursday afternoon, the cowards fleeing in the face of backlash. They certainly didn’t expect their vitriol to be picked up and rebroadcast by media outlets. It’s disturbing that they felt comfortable enough to make such comments at all, but it also make me wonder about the target audience, their friends and followers.
I can understand Bruins fans disappointment after Ward’s goal. It was a heartbreaking moment for them, capping an exasperating series and ushering the Stanley Cup champions into vacation mode. Caps fans are all-too-familiar with the feeling. But the color of Ward’s skin is as irrelevant as the color of his car; neither played a role in him beating goalie Tim Thomas (who could make a decent argument that Mike Knuble was guilty of interference).
Ward stands out as one of roughly two dozen black NHL players. Another is Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who saw a banana peel hit the ice during an exhibition game in September. “When you’re a black man playing in a predominantly white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that,” Simmonds told reporters afterward.
Expecting it and accepting it are two different things. Ward might have faced similar slurs Thursday if he was of Asian or Latino descent, but we shouldn’t shrug it off just because he must.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Deron Snyder is an award-winning journalist and Washington Times sports columnist with more than 25 years of experience. He has worked at USA Today and his column was syndicated in Gannett’s 80-plus newspapers from 2000-2009, appearing in The Arizona Republic, The Indianapolis Star, The Detroit News and many others. Follow Deron on Twitter @DeronSnyder or email him at email@example.com.
- SNYDER: Is Durant coming home to D.C. as a free agent in 2016?
- SNYDER: Steroid era feats still warrant Hall review
- SNYDER: Michael Sam a pioneer, but Tony Dungy doesn't need to be
- SNYDER: Robert Griffin III, Jay Gruden perfect together — for now
- SNYDER: Nationals flush with possibilities as second half kicks in
Latest Blog Entries
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Australia issues arrest warrant for men believed to be homegrown ISIL terrorists
- Iraq Christians get meeting with top Obama aide
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors