Oh Canada… Malcolm Subban repels opponents and racist troll fans

What we didn’t see coming:

Canada losing a lopsided semi final to the U.S. Thursday morning at the World Junior Hockey Championship. This tournament is Canada’s equivalent of March Madness — the entire country uniting to follow the future stars of an insanely popular sport through a series of progressively tougher challenges.

This event has traditionally belonged to Canada, which has won a record 15 gold medals since the tournament began in 1977, and has failed to medal only three times over that span.

And it matters here. You could compare the Canada’s obsession with winning World Junior Hockey Championship to India’s determination to topple Pakistan in cricket, except that passion for cricket runs as hot in Islamabad as it does in New Delhi, while Canadians have a monopoly on obsession with winning this event.

The Toronto Star has an entire section of its website devoted to chronicling Canada’s journey through this tourney.

The New York Times?

They set up the semi final with a single paragraph.

Given all that history the U.S. 5-1 semi final thrashing of team Canada surprises as much as it stings.

What we absolutely saw coming:

Racial invective directed at Team Canada goaltender Malcolm Subban by social media cretins.

This isn’t to imply there’s racism in hockey or in Canada but…

There’s this.

And this.

And then there’s this.

So on New Year’s Eve Rachel Decoste published this rundown of racist tweets on the Huffington Post, but if you haven’t read them all here are some highlights.

“Kay Malcom Subban’s TRASH. fucking monkey”


Team Canada has a black goalie.. Wtf is going on here? #confused


I love Subban don’t get me wrong ! But its very weird to see a complete black person play goalie #notracist #justdifferent

Three quick thoughts:

1. What exactly is a “complete black person”? Someone who has found his soulmate or some other path to inner peace? Somebody with two black parents? If you’re the fair-skinned child of fair-skinned parents, are you a completely incomplete black person? It kind of reminds me of the threats my dad used to make when we would act up as kids.

“Boy, I will slap the complete black offa you!”

Also, can’t understand why @hockeyHood is surprised at Subban’s complete black personhood, given that older brother and NHL star P.K. Subban is also a “complete” black person. That’s kind of how it works when two people share parents.

2. Shocked that the black guy plays goalie? In the 80s and 90s the black guy always played goalie. I understand this is twitter, and that many users may be too young to remember longtime Oilers standout Grant Fuhr.


Or hockey’s lone jheri curl all-star, Eldon “Pokey” Reddick.


But if you don’t remember how NHL analyst Kevin Weekes acquired the experience that makes his NHL analysis valuable, you’re just not paying attention.

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils

Wouldn’t be a first for social media trolls.

3.  Were these Canadian fans hurling racial epithets at the white guys who mustered just one goal in Thursday morning’s semi final?

In 2004 Canada won a silver medal with three black players on the roster — Shawn Belle, Nigel Dawes and Anthony Stewart. The following year those same three players returned to help Canada win gold. I bet Canadians didn’t complain about the racial makeup of the team when the players took the podium and the anthem played.

And how can I be so sure the twitter trolls lobbing n-bombs at Subban are Canadian?

Tell me who else would get this worked up about the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Follow Morgan Campbell on Twitter

7 Responses to “Oh Canada… Malcolm Subban repels opponents and racist troll fans”
  1. Craig says:

    So here’s a question for you, and I mean it as an honest question not a ‘statement’, do you think these tweets and incidents linked above are relatively isolated actions by idiots? Or do you think it’s endemic of most Canadian hockey fans being racist?

  2. I don’t think the average fan is as racist as these guys. I don’t even know if these guys knew they were racist until they saw a black player they felt was underperforming… then it all comes out. But social media definitely give morons a forum to air their views…

  3. Jim says:

    There’s a big difference between racist and different.

  4. midnighthero says:

    Reason I ask is because it determines how people like me (hockey fans pissed off by this) should deal with it. I say out the twitter jerks (or maybe Anonymous will jump in to help!) and make them responsible for their stupidity. That deals with the first case. Systemic racism… well, that’s probably gonna take some more work.

  5. Yeah i’m conflicted on how to react to racist twitter trolls. On the one hand calling them out gives them the attention they’re often seeking, but that attention often results in a flood of mentions letting them know how ignorant they truly are. Again, I’m baffled that people who claim to pay attention to hockey are surprised to see a black guy playing for Canada. If you see a brother playing for Russia people can act shocked… but they still can’t call him a monkey and expect people not to conclude they’re racist…

  6. Brian says:

    I truly hope every name posted in the yahoo article gets inundated with “feedback” regarding their racist remarks, in some of these remarks the lack of understanding of what they were saying and how bad it really is puzzles me. I can only hope this the ignorant underbelly of Canada, and not the way the average “white” hockey fan feels.

  7. Unfortunately Canada has it’s fair share of idiots and people who just aren’t to swift, racism is all over and in these times people feel like they can comment on things that they know nothing about. There’s alot tough guys saying stupid shit when their hidden behind technology, I would imagine they’d be more polite and respectful face to face. If their not, they’d learn quickly. A slip of the tongue with such statements gets you shot in the face a couple times across the river from me. All it comes down too, is morons, fools, and clowns think it’s funny, they can’t wait to tell their fruit cake friends about dropping some racist bomb, then his crew all check it out because for some reason it’s cool. I see no dignity or self respect, your morals got to be off a shade and virtue left a few years ago for the punk ass jokers that post such crap. I don’t agree or understand it but the forums there, so what can you do.

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