Friday, September 23, 2011

Stupid People Shouldn't Play Hockey Historian

There's something about Jymn Parrett -- known around these parts as Jim Parrot for his tendency to mindlessly repeat any line of bullshit a far-left demagogue instructs him to -- and hockey that seems to send his under-sized, under-powered mental locomotive off the tracks.

As was shown during the Vancouver Canucks 2011 Stanley Cup run -- which ended in disappointment for all Canadians, on far too many levels -- a bizarre obsession lies in Jim Parrot's psyche to politicize the game in all sorts of ways that don't reflect the reality of it.

For example, in the mind of this deranged individual, the horrifying story about Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds having a banana thrown at him in London, ON has become an opportunity to blame Prime Minister Stephen Harper for some alleged resurgence of racism in Canada.

Those who have paid close attention to race issues in Canada for what they are, as opposed to what they wish it would be know better. All proper-thinking Canadians wish racism was a thing of the past in Canada. But we know it is not.

Racism has never really gone away in Canada, as much as we wish it would. It seems worthy of note that the race indcident that most readily comes to mind during the 2011 federal election, in which Harper won a majority government, involved not a Conservative candidate, but a Bloc Quebecois candidate who declared that Quebeckers would note vote for Romeo Saganash because he's Cree.

Let's not for get that the Bloc Quebecois was essential to the power-grabbing coalition of socialists and separatists that people like Jim Parrot so readily favoured in 2008.

Parrot's logic is hardly befitting the word. It proceeds something like this: Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. A racist incident occurred in London, Ontario. Ergo, Harper must be to blame.

Parrot pretends to be deeply concerned about this incident -- and perhaps truly is, even if he isn't at all legitimately concerned with the issues intrinsic to it. But can't even keep his hockey history straight.

He treats Boston Bruins forward Willie O'Ree as the pioneer for black players in hockey. This assessment is actually incorrect.

O'Ree played a total of 45 games in the NHL for the Boston Bruins -- not bad for the first black player to ever do so. But those fully familair with hockey history know of another man... a man by the name of Herb Carnegie.

Carnegie began his professional career in 1938, while O'Ree was but three years old.

In 1948 Carnegie was invited for a tryout with the New York Rangers. Although he was widely regarded as one of the best players in the camp, fit to crack the Rangers starting lineup, he was instead offered a contract to play with the Rangers' minor league affiliate. The contract was worth less than he was earning playing for the Quebec Aces.

Among his teammates with the Aces was none other than Jean Bealiveau, who would later remark that Carnegie was one of the best players he had ever played with. Considering Bealiveau played with legends such as Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, this is high praise indeed.

Msny believe that if Carnegie had accepted the contract offered to him by the Rangers that he would have played in the NHL long before Willie O'Ree. Unlike O'Ree, whose NHL output totalled 14 points, he also would have excelled.

But Carnegie should always be admired for one thing: he knew that his self-respect and dignity were worth more than the possibility of one day, maybe, playing in the NHL after prostrating himself in order to have done it.

Hearing Carnegie talk about it today, he is still clearly stung by the pain of having been denied the opportunity to play in the NHL, but he publicly expresses few regrets. The Rangers management of the day should have a few: it's not unreasonable to speculate that they could have won a Stanley Cup with Carnegie. Instead, the franchise would wait until 1994, when they beat -- who else? -- the Vancouver Canucks.

Carnegie's decision to keep his dignity is a triumph in itself.

That Jim Parrot would look to the mediocre Willie O'Ree over the spectacular Herb Carnegie as the luminary for black hockey players demonstrates that he's as out-of-touch with hockey history as he is out-of-touch with the issues at the heart of the Simmonds incident.

Simmonds is far from the only black hockey player in the modern era to experience racism. In one incident that comes to mind, Anson Carter -- whose career peak was a world championship-winning goal -- had a banana thrown at him during the 2004-05 NHL lockout... while he was playing as part of a team of touring NHL stars in Russia.

Simmonds, like Carter, like Carnegie, has opted to take the high road in this incident. Simmonds has opted to simply rise above the clearly-premeditated expression of hatred directed at him, and move on.

He's brought no personal agenda to the table; political, ideological, or otherwise.

If only Jim Parrot had opted to do the same thing -- instead of transforming the incident into a political smear -- he would be fit to comment on the matter. Sadly, he didn't, and unsurprisingly, he isn't.

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