*Just before Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds, one of the few African-American players in the NHL, scored on a shootout attempt in Thursday’s preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Labatt Centre in Ontario, a fan taunted him by throwing a banana peel that landed directly in his path to the net, reports the Huffington Post.
“I caught it from the side of my eye. It was a banana. Hopefully, that wasn’t directed towards me being black,” he said after the Flyers lost 4-3. “Because if it was, that’s just somebody being ignorant.”
Simmonds also acknowledged to the Associated Press that the banana rattled him, but “you learn to deal with it.”
“When you’re a black man playing in a predominantly white man’s sport, you’ve got to come to expect things like that,” he said.
Frank Servalli of Philly.com pointed out that this isn’t new in the NHL. In 2002, a fan threw a banana at Carolina Hurricanes goalie Kevin Weekes.