RACE, NASHVILLE PREDATORS VS. MONTREAL CANADIENS, P.K. SUBBAN, AND THE NHL
GARY NORRIS GRAY-BASN-NEWSROOM -Staff Reporter
The Nashville Predators will be going to the Western Conference Finals this year for the first time in their short history and (P.K.) Pernell Karl Sylvester Subban has been an integral part of that accomplishment. He has transformed this team from pretender to contender. P.K. has put the heart and soul into the team from Tennessee. The Predators now play a nasty strong defense and Subban’s presence on the power play has improved their offensive performance.
The National Hockey League is still struggling with the influx of players of color on the ice. These players have changed the game of hockey, making the game faster, stronger, and inclusive. The game is growing and expanding around the world and slowly tracking down baseball but resistance to players of color still pervades the league.
Mr. Personality, number 76, P.K. Subban, is following in the footsteps of Val James, the first African-American in the National Hockey League, Willie O’Ree the first Black of the modern era with the Boston Bruins, Dirk Graham the first Black captain, Grant Fuhr the first Black to hold Lord Stanley’s Cup. He now carries the hockey torch into the future.
P.K. Subban continues to defy the odds and win. This versatile defenseman can score from the point, but P.K. Subban is asked time and time again can you play hockey the WHITE WAY, whatever that is, and stop showboating on the ice.
Mike Milbury, NHL broadcaster of the weekly American hockey night program, criticized Subban for dancing on the ice in pregame warm-ups. Milbury called him a clown and an embarrassment to the game.
What Milbury should have been saying is God Bless number 76 for getting Black kids interested in the game, Subban entertains the fans every night.
Here is an example — Golden State Warrior guard Steph Curry before every game shoots a shot from the locker room tunnel. Athletes of different sports have different ways to get the fans jacked up for the game. Milbury must not be happy with Subban dancing on the ice because he could not do it himself playing with the Boston Bruins twenty years ago!!!
The question should be asked why do you care how Subban’s pre-game dancing performance affects you?
Subban came to the hockey capital of the world, the Montreal Canadiens in 2009. Les Habs have a long standing tradition winning 24 Stanley Cups and also have a proud French-Canadian history with French Canadian players. They also have had French-Canadian captains for decades, Butch Bouchard-1940’s, Maurice Richard-1950’s, Jean Beliveau-1960’s, Henri Richard-1970’s, Yvan Cournoyer 1970’s, Guy Carbonneau 1990’s and Saku Koivu 2000’s. The Canadiens announced their 29th captain Max Pacioretty in 2015. It should have been P.K. Subban. Subban has worn the ‘A’ (Alternate Captain) on his sweater the last two years. That A should have changed to a C last year. Instead, P.K. Subban is wearing a Gold and Navy blue sweater.
Montreal traded Subban at the beginning of the season (2016-17) for taller, heavier, and older Shea Weber. What the Canadiens were saying is that Mr. Subban was a great player but he could not be captain of this team because he was not French-Canadian.
What the team was saying they also did not want to deal with P.K. and his no-movement clause in his contract. What they were saying is that we (Montreal) can win the Cup without you. During the 2015-16 season, The Habs slipped out of the Stanley Cup race, but Subban kept up his productivity. So it was not about his hockey skills it was about his style of play and his color.
This year the Canadiens exited the playoffs in the first round while the Nashville Predators move on to the conference finals. P.K. Subban still cannot win over the hockey intelligencia or the stoic traditionalist.
This country informs Black people how to act, play, speak, and why, in the meantime, this same country refuses to teach their own how to behave.
This is just an example of how America responds to white fans and white players. The Boston Red Sox baseball administration apologizes for their fans actions as Black center fielder Adam Jones received RACIST taunts from outfield bleacher fans. These same fans also threw bags of peanuts… Those Red Sox fans were ejected from that game but this is sending a very bad message to our children.
Racism is running rampant in the country and it’s affecting everybody. The St. Louis Blues saw fit to attack star defenseman P.K. Subban with repeated elbows to the head and the Predators retaliated by roughing up St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves on the boards in game five. Both of these Goal Brothers played it off, ignored it, and continued to help their teams on the ice.
THE DOUBLE STANDARD
Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby can celebrate a score but Subban cannot (act like you been there before) this is what old timers say. When Black players like Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds, Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, and Subban talk trash everybody complains but when Caucasian players like Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux act out on the ice the hockey estate hails them as effective agitators.
The Hockey establishment wants quiet non-threatening Black players like Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Los Angeles Jarome Iginla, or Buffalo’s Evander Kane. Subban does not fit this model and never will. P.K. is a free spirit and the hockey establishment still does not want to understand.
Every game that the Predators have won against the St. Louis Blues P.K. Subban has earned a point except game six.
In game four Nashville took a 3-1 series lead with a tough defensive 2-1 victory James Neal sealed the deal with a late 2nd-period goal and Pekka Rinne stopped 34 St Louis Blues shots… This quarterfinals match was a goalie series with Rinne clearly the better netminder with the Predator defense. Subban had an assist and blocked 3 shots.
In game five Nashville closed out the series with a 3-1 victory. Ryan Johansen scored the winning goal in the third period for the Predators. Pekka Rinne became the stone wall in last half of the third period. Subban did not play much in this game because of a lower-body injury.
The Nashville Predators now face those big nasty Anaheim Ducks for the Western Conference Finals
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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