I'm not interested in trying to get anybody any bad press, or to necessarily expect people to agree with me, or to provide you all with a homily. I just need you to listen and to think from another person's perspective on this
As much as I have entrusted my hockey learning, my hockey life, and my old hockey video game color commentary with former goalie Darren Pang, I am quite disappointed in him as of tonight.
For those who are unfamiliar with the incident, this evening on TSN, Darren Pang was talking about the emergence of the young and talented defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, PK Subban. As a player who is not only known for his on-ice performance but his often controversial" behavior, PK has, of course, caused concern for the conservative hockey community.
Here are the comments by Panger:
Of course, what everybody is going to think I'm referring to is the Freudian slip Pang makes, but you wouldn't listen to me if I just told you he's racist because he said that Alex Pietrangelo does things the "white way."
Instead, I have more issue with the things he said leading up to it. Implying that there is a "right way" for one, when there are other paths other players have taken to make it to the NHL is a problem for me. For all the players who made it to the NHL a not-so-mainstream way, through different programs, did they not do it "right?" Does that make them a lesser player?
Even as a player who came up through the juniors, how did he not do it the "right/white" way? Why should he have to follow the example of another player?
Well, notice how Pang, and of course everybody else comments on Subban's behavior, need of "settling him down." The same conversation has happened with Russian Alex Ovechkin's personality and party-boyish ways. While it is understandable in the case of Subban in a community where everyone else doesn't act the way he does that he should be mindful of this for the betterment of his team, it is still troublesome that he has to do so.
This all goes under this concept of "conformity"... the idea that the right, proper way to do everything is to assimilate by conforming to the Anglo-Canadian style of play, attitude, training, etc. And this concept appears in many forms in our daily lives, and it is hard to detect by others on the outside because of the idea of privilege... unfortunately, this is All We Do Is Puck and not sociology class, so I won't explain all of it here, but it is something to be aware of.
Hockey is obviously still a sport run almost entirely by old white men, with a majority of white players in 2010. So yes, the ideas will be antiquated, with a fear of the game being taken away from them, the game changing too much, new types of players and personalities coming in, Ochocincos and T.O.s, and all of these things if non-traditional types come into the game. Still, you cannot ignore the concept of race in this, because who are they scared of t going to? Yeah, I said it - race. Say it with me now! I'm not scared of it!
Even though this issue goes much deeper than what was said here, and it seems like a "gregarious" problem to fix, do understand that it can't be totally ignored, denied or minimized either to make it okay. It is the way it is, but that doesn't make it right. It's Subban doing all the talking, but let's try not to blame the victim or his "ways," or call it something else Let's not say "it didn't count because he didn't mean it." Trust me, it won' get you off the hook.
As much as people are going to label this incident as "just a slip" and that "he didn't mean anything by it" are missing the bigger picture; that this isn't okay, and that he had to apologize because it's inherently wrong to say. However, not just the slip, but everything else before that, which leads me to believe that of course Pang wouldn't want to say "white way" on television. I still trust Panger with my hockey analysis -- after all we short goalie-types must stick together -- but I call it like I see it and this was inexcusably wrong.
Sermon - done.
Stay tuned later for a post on the polling of YOUR favorite defunct NHL team. Cause I know I have one, and I'm not telling you until I post!