Thursday, April 26, 2012

A moment tarnished by the classless and the hateful

The glow from last nights remarkable overtime finish between the Capitals and Bruins has already dimmed, tarnished by the actions of a few, actions that provide us all with the lesson that we really have much much more of a road to travel in our society, far away from a game on the ice.

By now most have probably heard of the hateful, racist, moronic and ignorant comments that a few of our more neanderthal brothers and sisters unleashed on the social media world last night following Joel Ward's game winning goal for the Capitals.

Globe and Mail-- Joel Ward's agent denounces racist comments
Toronto Star-- Washington Capitals OT hero Joel Ward says racial Tweets "just sad to see"
USA Today-- Caps' Ward: Racist tweets 'didn't ruin my day'
ESPN-- Joel Ward not letting tweets ruin win
CTV-- Joel Ward's agent, team owner lash out over racism
Vancouver Sun-- Joel Ward victim of racist Twitter comments: what people are saying
Boston Herald-- Bruins 'disappointed' by fans racist Twitter comments Joel Ward's triumph tainted by racism
TSN-- Ward targeted by Racist tweets after OT goal against Bruins
CBC-- Racist tweets don't 'faze' Capitals' Joel Ward
Washington Post-- Racist tweet storm about Joel Ward prompted by Bruin's loss...

And while clearly a collective in the minority, (considering the worldwide potential reach of such things as Twitter and Facebook), the ugly comments detracted from what was a spectacular moment for Ward and his team mates and generally should make any true hockey fan want to take a shower.

We have no intention of giving these slugs more time than they have already taken with their hateful thoughts, but it is a moment that we could not let pass without commentary.

We're not sure what has brought this collective of scum, and that's not too strong a word thank you very much, to their mindset, but in a world facing far too many challenges, they are nowhere near part of the solution.

We hesitate to call them hockey fans, for their position in no way resembles anything I have heard from anyone that I know that follows the sport.

Suffice to say, if they don't mind, could they please go find some other sport to follow. Hockey fans don't need them and more importantly, hockey fans don't want them or their closed minds.

We can't help but compare the ugliness of their comments with everything we've heard about Mr. Ward through the day today, in the few interviews we've heard or watched as the day moved forward, he handled himself extremely well.

Handing credit for the win to his team mates, the kind of guy you probably would want standing beside you in the stall next to you in any dressing room, from the NHL to Timbits hockey.

Compared to his handling of this despicable situation, we can't say as we'd want to be within any distance of those that took to Twitter and Facebook and such last night with their unwanted contribution to a great game.

One image that truly stands out from last might is far removed from the world of Twitter and such, but came in the post game interview.  Ward, clearly happy to have contributed to his teams' success mentioned that he had been "worried of late that he was letting the boys down" and was glad that he could get his game back on track when it was needed most.

That tells us so much about him and clearly showcases how very different he is from those that felt the need to descend into the gutter of racism.

The other thing that we noted from that same interview on CBC, at the end of it, having lived the dream of every kid that ever put on a pair of skates, that of scoring a series clinching goal and appearing on Hockey Night in Canada, Ward said thank you to his interviewer.

It's rare to see that anymore in society, let alone sports, such utter glee, humility and politeness all rolled up into one fascinating moment.

It tells us much about Ward, the way he was brought up and the values he clearly holds.

In short he's been all class with this, unlike the nameless cowards that took to the world of social media on Wednesday night.

To get back to where we should be, we celebrate his achievement and offer it up below, including that post game interview

He can hold that accomplishment last night as his forever, hopefully aware that the vast majority of humans, let alone hockey fans recognize him for his perseverance and success.

Joel Ward it would seem is the kind of guy you'd want to have a beer with anywhere, any time.

As for the cowards and slugs who tarnished a perfect night, find the rock and crawl back under.

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