Like the overly aggressive kid down the street that got away with whipping me in the face with a broken bicycle chain when I was six, if Wayne Simmonds says he didn’t do it then Wayne Simmonds didn’t do it. Mr. Simmonds met with NHL disciplinarian
Brendan Shanahan Colin Campbell on Tuesday to discuss Sean Avery’s allegations that Simmonds had called him a “faggot” on the ice during Monday’s exhibition game between the Rangers and Flyers. After reviewing the incident with Simmonds, Campbell announced that the league would not be handing down any punishment.
Simmonds, who had a sudden case of amnesia during his post-game chat with the media Monday, denied the allegations on Tuesday. Without an official able to back Avery’s claims, Simmonds will walk away unscathed by the NHL’s hammer of justice.
Here’s the crux of Campbell’s statement:
“… 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. Specifically, Flyers Player Wayne Simmonds has expressly denied using the homophobic slur he is alleged to have said. Additionally, none of the on-ice officials close to the altercation in question heard any inappropriate slurs uttered by either of the primary antagonists. In light of this, we are unable at this time to take any disciplinary action with respect to last night’s events. To the extent we become aware of additional information conclusively establishing that an inappropriate slur was invoked, we are reserving the option to revisit the matter.”
So unless an official or the talking head between the benches magically remembers Simmonds shouting a homophobic slur in Avery’s direction, then this case would appear to be closed. And that’s a shame.
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