Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wayne Simmonds isn't penalized by the NHL!

The NHL chose not to discipline Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds for his alleged homophobic slur because it could not "substantiate" that Simmonds hurled the epithet toward New York Rangers winger Sean Avery. After a hearing with Simmonds on Tuesday, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell released a statement calling commentary about race, ethnicity and sexual orientation "absolutely unacceptable," but said there was not enough evidence to punish Simmonds. "We have looked into the allegations relating to... the possible use of a homophobic slur by a Flyers player in the Rangers/Flyers preseason game last night in Philadelphia. Since there are conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice, we have been unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom," Campbell said.

GLAAD said it has talked to the Flyers and the NHL about what specific steps can be taken. The organization added that it has worked with sports leagues such as the NBA, Major League Baseball, and the WWE to address issues of homophobia in sports. "It also is important to emphasize that the National Hockey League holds, and will continue to hold, our players to higher standards with respect to their conduct both on and off the ice," Campbell said. "While we recognize that the emotion involved in certain on-ice confrontations may lead to the use of highly charged and sometimes offensive language and commentary, certain lines cannot be crossed. "We have for many years emphasized to our clubs and players that commentary directed at the race or ethnicity of other participants in the game (or even non-participants), or that is otherwise socially or morally inappropriate or potentially hurtful -- including as it may relate to sexual orientation -- is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated," he added.

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