Simmonds, for his part, wasn’t all that shook about it. From a Sean Leahy post on Puck Daddy, he had this to say:
“When you’re a black man playing in a predominantly white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that. Over the past 23 years of my life, I’ve come to expect some things like that. But I’m older and more mature now, I kind of just let things roll off [my back]. I try not to think about stuff like that.”
The racist chants weren’t smiled upon by the league, which fined the Liberec club the very specific dollar amount of $1,555, which in itself is odd, in my opinion – what were they supposed to do? Go back in time and stop the chants? I hardly think they were running the chant suggestion on the jumbotron, but I suppose it’s good that the League went public with the message that that behaviour is unacceptable.
Of course, that behaviour is garbage. There’s no place for it, and it’s mind-boggling it still happens. It shouldn’t.
The guilty parties were arrested, and now face a maximum jail sentence of three years. It won’t ever come to that, but man…jail?
The Czech site reports that the rowdy fans calls themselves the “Black Commandos”, attending games in a black hooded sweatshirt and scarf, imbibing a considerable amount of booze before games. (One of the accused fans, Radek Pribyl, said he had 10 beers and two shots but was only “mildly drunk” because he’s “trained” for that level of consumption.)
Jeez. I’ll follow up as I find out more about this – they face trial Jan. 9 in Chomutov District Court.
My question to you is this: racial slurs are obviously terrible and something to be dealt with. We’re all on the same page there. But is jail time a punishment too severe?