NHL Commissioner Colin Campbell said today that the NHL will not discipline Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers for an alleged homophobic slur aimed at Sean Avery of the New York Rangers during a recent preseason game. Campbell said “we have been unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom.”
Campbell did release a statement on the matter.
“All Players, Coaches and Officials in the National Hockey League deserve the respect of their peers, and have the absolute right to function in a work environment that is free from racially or sexually-based innuendo or derision. This is the National Hockey League’s policy and it will remain so going forward.
“It also is important to emphasize that the National Hockey League holds, and will continue to hold, our Players to higher standards with respect to their conduct both on and off the ice. While we recognize that 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. Specifically, we have for many years emphasized to our Clubs and Players that commentary directed at the race or ethnicity of other participants in the game (or even non-participants), or that is otherwise socially or morally inappropriate or potentially hurtful — including as it may relate to sexual orientation — is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Nice, but when your actions don’t match your words it doesn’t amount to anything at all.