It was Game 1 of the Second Round of the 2017 NHL Western Conference Playoffs between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators last Wednesday night. If you follow any team’s Twitter account, you know they live tweet key plays during games. This first tweet came from the Blues account after a Nashville score:
Not good news for the Blues, but there was still a lot of game left. A fan turned this into something else entirely by commenting about Predators defenseman, P.K. Subban, who is black. Subban gave the Blues all they could handle in Game 1 with one goal scored and two assists. That said, this nonsense was beyond the pale (Warning: The following contains content some readers may find offensive):
My hometown team is not here for your racism:
The Blues could have easily ignored this as teams receive all kinds of ridiculous tweets that aren’t worth the trouble. However, St. Louis showed there is a line and they not only held the offending fan accountable, they also let everyone paying attention know where they stand.
After being called out for his racism, the fan responded:
Again, the Blues did not let hatred and ignorance off the hook:
The St. Louis Blues showed what sports teams can do to curb poor fan behavior and what we can all do to shut down racism. Hold offenders accountable even if they claim to be “joking.” It shouldn’t take a person of color to verify, most people know racism when they see it or hear it.
No matter what the game situation, the Blues made their expectations clear when fans interact with anyone, including opponents. St. Louis has set the bar. Let’s see if the rest of us can raise it!