As Wayne Simmonds moved in for a penalty shot during a preseason game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings in London, Ontario, he became the target of an incredibly disgusting taunt. A fan, reportedly located in the upper deck of the arena, threw a banana peel on the ice, targeting Simmons, who is black, as approached the net.
Simmons took the incident in stride, shrugging it off as if it was no big deal when speaking to reporters after the game. Philadelphia Daily News reporter Frank Seravelli passed along the post-game interviews from the arena.
"When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like that," he said. "Over the past 23 years of my life, I've come to expect some things like that. But I'm older and more mature now, I kind of just left things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that."
A teammate, who asked to remain anonymous, didn't take kindly to the thrown banana peel and stood up for Simmonds after the game.
"I would have went and kicked that fan's ass myself," one teammate said, asking to remain nameless. "That's just not right."
His teammate is certainly correct in saying it's not right. It's amazing that in this day and age, a boneheaded fan still feels like to need pull a stunt such as this. There's simply no place for it at all.
For more on the Flyers, head over to Broad Street Hockey.