By: Henry Whitfield
(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)
To say the hockey in Moose Country has been outstanding this season, well, that would be a massive understatement.
However, the hockey needs to take a backseat for a moment, instead lets discuss the disciplinary case stemming from Sunday’s game against Val d’Or, where Trey Lewis was subject to offensive remarks from forward Vincent Dunn.
Dunn was tossed at the end of the first period, given a game misconduct for “Racial taunts, Gestures and slurs.”
The QMJHL took ‘action’, suspending Dunn for two games, releasing a statement from League Commissionare Gilles Courteau.
“The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League created an anti discrimination policy in December of 2006 in order to ban all forms of discrimination,” said Courteau.
“Our policy is based on the principle of zero tolerance and it applies to all comments which are deemed inappropriate. All of our participants must be treated with respect and dignity.”
While I commend the league for taking action, it’s hard not to feel that they missed a chance to really make a point and a tough stance, or rather a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to a serious level.
Instead, they suspend the kid for two games. Two games? You get two games for a bad hit, two games for being an idiot. Two games, not really much of an impact
I’m not saying Dunn is a racist, he’s probably a great kid, but if you’re going to do something stupid then you need to be held accountable.
Two game suspensions are seen for cross checking, charging the goaltender, slew footing, and hits to the head (I’d also argue this should be more too). But giving just two games for racially abusing someone, well, that doesn’t seem enough.
Oh and they gave the team a $500 fine, a $500 fine? Tough right? Wrong.
Chicoutimi and PEI were fined earlier this year $2,000 for ‘multiple fights on the same stoppage’, while it routinely hands out $1,000 for the same infraction.
Seems to me that stamping out racism from a league that’s had it’s fair share of issues, should be taken a bit more seriously than a slap on the wrist of $500 and a two game suspension.
Heck, if you want to look at more high-profile cases then look no further than the current lockout, where NHL Player Wayne Simmonds was the target of racist taunting from fans.
If you want to have a zero tolerance policy, then have a zero tolerance policy.
Not a slap on the wrist policy.
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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.