HRC Blog

Act Now: Tell the NHL to Do the Right Thing about Wayne Simmonds’ Anti-Gay Slur

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

HRC is calling on its members to take action and join in calling on the NHL to revisit the incident between Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and Rangers winger – and staunch marriage equality supporter - Sean Avery, in which Simmonds appears to have shouted “f*cking f*ggot” at Avery during an altercation. You also can tweet the NHL.

Sean Avery is a straight ally and strong supporter of marriage equality. Earlier this year, Avery participated in HRC’s New Yorker’s for Marriage Equality video campaign.

Wayne SimmondsFollowing Monday night’s game, Simmonds said he couldn’t remember what he said. However, the next day, his memory had cleared considerably – and Simmonds has since been insistent in denying that he ever used the offensive slur.

The NHL issued a statement yesterday following a very brief look into the matter. In the statement, a league spokesperson said NHL players were held to “higher standards with respect to their conduct both on and off the ice” and that while “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.”

The clock is ticking. The NHL must immediately take appropriate action to hold Wayne Simmonds accountable for his conduct. The league has a responsibility to send a clear message that these types of anti-gay slurs can have serious consequences.

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