A Dark Shadow in the Great White North by @MedinaMarie_PI - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

The Latest

Post Top Ad

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Dark Shadow in the Great White North by @MedinaMarie_PI

Hockey Principle number eight: "We believe programs should provide a safe, positive and INCLUSIVE environment for players and families regardless of race, color, RELIGION, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economical status. Simply put HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE."

It is with this principle in mind, as well as the following tweet, that brings me to writing this piece. (Note: obscene language)
Talha Javaid is a 21-year old former hockey player out of Windsor, Canada, who is beloved by his friends, family, and even his Twitter followers. He jokes, he chirps his former team mates in tweet form any chance he gets, and idolizes Senators defenseman, Erik Karlsson. He loves the game and though he hung up the skates in March after suffering a severe concussion, Javaid still likes to get out on the ice from time to time.

He also happens to be Muslim.

Since the tragic events that unfolded in America on 9/11, the prejudice, profiling, and fear of anyone of middle eastern decent has risen to astronomical heights. That mind-set seems to have flooded over the northern most border more than once thought.

On the evening of Sunday September 24, 2017, after leaving his local rink, Javiad found the note pictured above on his car. What is even more shocking is the sad truth that he expected something like this it to happen sooner than when it did.

I spoke with Javaid regarding the incident and he had this to say regarding his initial reaction:
"Honestly, it was weird. Like, a part of me of me was like 'wow, that took longer than I thought it would.' Expected it happen way sooner."

Javaid later tweeted to a friend that he contemplating buying a dash camera in order to try and capture any other incidents.

Though it may be an isolated incident by possibly a jealous opponent, it once again brings the issue of racial profiling to the forefront in a sport that claims to be open and welcoming to all. The NHL, the governing body of professional hockey that began in Canada, the foundation of on which dreams of hockey glory are built, developed and implemented their "Declaration of Principles" earlier in September 2017 in the hopes to make the game of hockey a safe place for all who want to be involved in the game at any level: from beer league to bantam all the way to the pros and everything in between. It is this writers belief and profound opinion that those found to be in breech of these principles, and are caught, should face severe punishment. It's not just words...it's hate speech. There is no room for that at any time.

Thankfully, Javaid has had nothing but an outpouring of love and support for friends and fellow hockey players both in person and online. He refuses to let the incident effect him or his life  and continues to hold his head high.

So what would he say to anyone else who has or may have a run in such as this?
"Honestly, just try to ignore it. And yeah that's hard but there really isn't much you can do about it. Take the high road and kill them with kindness because I promise you it's a hell of a lot more effective. Don't give the person who did it the satisfaction of getting you riled up."

In addition, I would like to add that the world is full of enough darkness. There is no law saying we all have to get along, but at the very least, we should respect each other regardless of differences. Whether we are a fan, writer, player, coach, whatever, we are one hockey family. It's our job to support one another in the game we love and in everyday life rather than tear each other down.

Hockey is for everyone.....principle number eight.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad