Racism overshadows an incredible playoff series.

Last night was appalling for a multitude of reasons. The Bruins came out looking lifeless and lost as a result. But whats more upsetting than being knocked out of the playoffs, which is a pretty big deal, is the vile comments spewed by Bruins “fans” and “fans” in general after Joel Ward’s OT winner. While I’m fully aware that the argument that those people are not real fans is invalid, I don’t consider them to be fans and I never will. I’m sure the sentiment is similar throughout the hockey fanbase.

Lets not even get into the blatantly racist portion of their attack just yet and focus on another aspect of what they took from Joel Ward last night. By sitting behind a computer screen and spouting off slurs, they took away his glory of scoring the game winner in OT of a Game 7. No one is going to ask him about his goal, and that pains me as a hockey fan. The playoffs are an amazing time, and goals like that are what players and fans dream about. Did Joel Ward and the Capitals knock my team out of the playoffs and shatter my hopes and dreams? Absolutely. That being said, the look on his face and the excitement is what its all about, knowing that he’ll never forget that moment. Ward should be relishing in the glory of taking the series for his team, not having to dodge questions about racism.

Moving onto the childish racism. All I can say after having a day to reflect on it is, really? This racism wasn’t limited to Bruins fans mind you, but Flyers fans, Red Wings fans and just random trolls mixed in. What do you accomplish by calling someone a racial slur. Its not going to change the fact that he scored on Tim Thomas. They’re not going to take back the goal and replay the game because some yahoo on Twitter that is incapable of proper grammar and spelling called Joel Ward the n-word. All they accomplished was diminishing an amazing sport, casting Boston fans in a bad light, and making themselves look like complete fools in the process. So congrats guys, I hope you feel great. I hope you woke up feeling like you made your mark on the world.

This brings me to my final point. There are a lot of people out there, most of them aren’t even Capitals fans, that are grouping the entire city of Boston and all of Bruins fans into the label of “racist”. I’m fully aware the Boston has a tarnished past but this boggles my mind, that people can just generalize about an entire group of people because of the team they follow. How does that make you better than anyone else. Thats like considering that all people from Germany are Nazi’s. I know the latter example is a different, but it has the same idea. You’re taking a group of people and judging them by their affiliation to something. To say that we understand the plight of Canuck fans would be the understatement of the century. They’re labeled “rioters” and we’re labeled “racists”. Its not a label I wish to carry. The fact that Joel Ward is another race never even crossed my mind last night. All I saw was a hockey player that ended my team’s season. I’m sure that’s what most thought as well.

Racism cannot be tolerated in this sport or any aspect of life. If you can play, you can play. I sincerely apologize to Joel Ward, the Capitals and their fans for having their glorious Game 7 win taken away from them with this ignorance. I won’t however, apologize on behalf of Bruins fans because the ones I associate with were nothing but respectful after the loss and I cannot apologize for racist, ignorant people that under no circumstance deserve to be forgiven.

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