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WASHINGTON (AP) —

in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 27.05.2019 03:14
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Devante Smith-Pelly got up from his seat.The Washington Capitals forward had heard the unmistakably racist taunts from fans from inside the penalty box. As a black hockey player Paul Thompson Jersey Womens , he knew exactly what they meant by yelling, “Basketball, basketball, basketball!”“It’s just ignorant people being ignorant,” Smith-Pelly said.That scene unfolded in Chicago in February, 60 years after Willie O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier and paved the way for more minorities to play the sport and reach its highest level. O’Ree is being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday for his pioneering career, and yet incidents like the one Smith-Pelly went through show how much more progress needs to be made, in a league that’s 97 percent white and beyond.“It’s come a long way, but there’s still a lot of things that still need to change,” Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse said. “That just comes through minorities as a group working together to try to eliminate those things from this game.”Those things just keep happening.In 2011, Philadelphia forward Wayne Simmonds had a banana thrown at him during a preseason game in London, Ontario.In 2012, then-Washington forward Joel Ward was the subject of racist social media posts after he scored a game-winning playoff goal.In 2014, then-Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban was the subject of racist social media posts after he scored a game-winning playoff goal.In April, Detroit prospect Givani Smith was subjected to threats and racial taunts and messages after a junior game in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. His team had a police escort the next time they went to the rink.“(O’Ree) had to go through a lot, and the same thing has been happening now, which obviously means there’s still a long way to go,” Smith-Pelly said. “If you had pulled a quote from him back then and us now, they’re saying the same thing, so obviously there’s still a long way to go in hockey and in the world if we’re being serious.”Through his work as an NHL diversity ambassador over the past 20 years, O’Ree has tried to work toward more inclusion and better minority representation. He is eager to tell kids at YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs and schools that hockey is another sport they can play.USA Hockey and Hockey Canada don’t keep participation statistics by race, though there are fewer than two dozen black players currently on NHL rosters. The NHL celebrates “Hockey is for Everyone” month each season and quickly condemns racist behavior.“A lot of it’s basically on your parents and how people raise their kids,” said San Jose forward Evander Kane, who acknowledged being the subject of racist taunting as the only black player on his minor league teams in Vancouver. “You can have all the awareness that you want, but at the end of the day, it’s really up to the individual and how they act and how they want to treat other people.”O’Ree, 83 Troy Brouwer Jersey Womens , still remembers how he was treated in the ’50s as hockey’s Jackie Robinson. He did his best to drown out the noise by listening to his brother Richard.“I heard the jeers and some of the racial remarks, but it kind of went in one ear and out the other,” O’Ree said. “He told me, ‘Willie, names will never hurt you unless you let them.’ He said, ‘If they can’t accept you for the individual that you are, just forget about it and just go out and do what you do best and don’t worry about anything else.'”Nurse said black players still have to worry about racist jeers and remarks.“I had a lot growing up and my brother had the big one too last year,” said Dallas forward Gemel Smith, Givani’s brother. “How we were raised, nothing really bothers me. That stuff doesn’t really get to me and things like that. My dad always taught us just to try to close it out, block it out.”Like Smith-Pelly, Simmonds is quick to say racism isn’t an issue unique to hockey or sports in general. His solution is a zero tolerance policy, which is what happened to the four fans in Chicago who were thrown out and banned from all home games by the Blackhawks.“I think what could be done to keep these types of incidents from happening would probably be to ban those people who are doing those lewd acts,” Simmonds said. “I think if you set a strong example right from the start, you won’t have too many people acting like clowns.”Commissioner Gary Bettman, who is going into the Hall of Fame with O’Ree as part of the class of 2018, considers it important to make clear to fans and players what’s expected and what’s not tolerated and said: “Even if it’s only one incident, it’s one too many.” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said creating and cultivating an inclusive environment and building diversity are significant league priorities.There has been incremental progress. In the aftermath of Smith-Pelly’s incident, fans in Chicago raised $23,000 to donate to the Fort Dupont Ice Rink in Washington, helping hundreds of children.“When you see the reaction and the way that people rally around moments like that and try to make a positive out of it, I think that’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Nurse said.For some players like Seth Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, hockey has been a safe place. The Blue Jackets defenseman said he has so far never been on the receiving end of race-based taunts or messages and said, “I was just like everybody else playing hockey, which is what everyone wants.”Most black players haven’t been that fortunate. And while Jones is optimistic that people can change, Smith-Pelly wasn’t sure exactly how that will happen.“It’s tough,” he said. “I don’t really know a plan to stop it. That’s how people are.” NEW YORK (AP) There is usually another guest at the table when Gary Bettman and his wife http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-sven-andrighetto-jersey , Shelli, go out to dinner with other couples during the NHL playoffs.Friends come to accept the glow of the TV screen set up so Bettman can keep an eye on games, ready to go from enjoying a nice meal to running a multibillion-dollar business and back again. The commissioner of a storied league with 24 teams in the United States and seven in Canada doesn’t put work on hold for life or vice versa. When his 11-year-old grandson, Matthew, wanted to hang out with him in Tampa during All-Star weekend, he brought him along for meetings.”They all blend together because I’m never off,” Bettman said. ”It’s all part of what I do and who I am.”For 25 years, Bettman has overseen the growth of the NHL from $437 million in annual revenue to nearly $5 billion, guiding the league into and out of work stoppages and expanding hockey’s reach to places that never seemed a fit for the fastest game on ice.The Stanley Cup Final opens Monday in Las Vegas, where Bettman had a guiding hand in the expansion process that yielded the Golden Knights and led to the most successful inaugural season in league history. When he was there in November 2016 for the unveiling of the team name, Bettman was booed by the crowd and could not have cared less.”No, no, keep the booing,” he told the crowd. ”That proves you’re now an NHL city.”Once perhaps an unlikely leader for a game with its roots north of the border, the 65-year-old lawyer from Queens who got his start in the NBA has become one of the most powerful and long-lasting influences in professional sports. More than two decades into the job, Bettman still feels energized by the thrill of work – and the sugar supplied by dark chocolate Milky Way candy bars doesn’t hurt.He isn’t going anywhere, either.”I think he’s the best that we could do,” said Jeremy Jacobs, the Boston Bruins owner and board of governors chairman. ”I mean, there are things that might irritate you from time to time about him. But you know where his heart and soul is, he’s always interested in the game, the improvement of the game.”It hasn’t always been pretty. Bettman has had a role in three lockouts, the relocation of five franchises, has repeatedly denied any link between head injuries and the degenerative brain disease CTE, and recently refused to allow NHL players to go to the Olympics after doing so five times. Confident in his decisions and willing to accept the ramifications to his reputation and legacy, Bettman has earned respect – sometimes begrudged – and made some enemies while serving longer than the other three major sports commissioners combined.”He’s a force, so he’s not going to roll over because somebody thinks it’s a good idea,” said John Collins, a former NHL chief operating officer. ”He’s very principled and he sticks up for his principles. And those principles could be business principles or they could be just kind of moral principles and he’ll fight for that. That’s the way he lives his life http://www.officialcanadiensprostore.com/authentic-adidas-phillip-danault-jersey , and that’s the way he runs the league.”Part of Bettman’s work involves keeping 31 ownership groups and markets on the same page. Former Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Richard Peddie said Bettman bringing almost every owner into the league has its benefits.”They’re all there because Gary ultimately blessed them, so I think they always have some kind of IOUs,” Peddie said. ”I don’t mean that in a disingenuous or unfair way. But he was the gatekeeper, so he has that going for him.”Bettman, who was NBA general counsel under then-Commissioner David Stern and a senior vice president before starting at the NHL on Feb. 1, 1993, orchestrates things in such a way that there’s rarely public dissent. Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has watched how Bettman builds a united front among owners.”He’ll pre-brief and sell some of the key owners, if you will, and he backchannels and he’ll literally call and brief every owner personally on a subject so that when you come to the meeting, you’re briefed, you’ve asked your questions,” Leonsis said. ”Because he puts in the work and he has the data and his competence is not questioned in any way and he does have the data, he’s able to land the planes, if you will, with efficiency.”Bettman acknowledges some events during his tenure were not of his making. To this day, he insists moving the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado and the original Winnipeg Jets to Arizona had to be done, and that the 2004-05 lockout that wiped out an entire season was necessary to ensure the long-term health of the league.”There are things I wish might not have happened,” Bettman said. ”Work stoppages are a good example. The fact is I knew what we needed, and we had to get it. And if it took a long time to ultimately convince the Players’ Association that this was in everybody’s best interest, I wish it could’ve happened sooner, but it didn’t.”There are some in hockey who can’t forgive Bettman for the lockouts, most recently one in 2012-13. There are others like Peddie who’d rather consider them part of an entire body of work that includes overseeing expansion into the Sun Belt.”It’s putting hockey where it hasn’t traditionally been,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. ”That’s proven successful. … I think his legacy of having franchises there and putting hockey in nontraditional markets and making it relevant in nontraditional markets kind of exceeds the business success of the teams.”The deaths of enforcers Derek Boogaard and Bob Probert brought CTE and hockey to the forefront, and the NHL is currently facing a federal lawsuit from more than 100 former players who allege it had the resources to better prevent head trauma, failed to properly warn players of such risks and promoted violent play. In a July 31, 2015, deposition, Bettman said: ”There’s no medical or scientific certainty that concussions lead to CTE.”Bettman said the NHL was a leader on concussion studies, testing and solutions as far back as the 1990s. He also said he believes the lawsuit has no merit.”People can embrace that position Womens Craig Smith Jersey , understand it, dismiss it – that’ll be individual opinions,” he said. ”But I have to do what I have to do on behalf of the game, and it starts with player safety being a priority.”Bettman is paid more than $9 million annually and with that is willing to take the brunt of responsibility for the NHL’s good, bad and ugly. He doesn’t have too many fans at the Players’ Association, but owners line up behind him based on his work in raising franchise values, negotiating U.S. and Canadian TV deals and steering the sport through trouble.”I think the league is lucky to have had him as long as they’ve had,” said Collins, who worked under Bettman for nine years. ”That role for any sport is a really tough one and it’s really tough when you’re in it for a long time because it’s inevitable that you collect a lot of dents.”The dents don’t keep Bettman up at night, but he works so much that he’ll sleep at most 6 hours on the weekend and often much less. When he returned home at 2 a.m. from a playoff game this spring, he walked 13-year-old golden doodle Lola and 4-year-old Teddy before bed, slept under three hours and postponed working out with a trainer to leave the house at 6:15 for an 8 a.m. television appearance.”I don’t get a lot of sleep and I don’t need a lot of sleep,” Bettman said in his office overlooking Sixth Avenue that has a table-top hockey game, books of the sport’s history and plenty of family photos. ”There are probably certain days where people in my family will think I have narcolepsy, because if I sit down I might fall asleep for five or 10 minutes. But what I do is energizing, so that keeps me going. And I eat a lot of candy.”Bettman and Daly spent two hours earlier this week poring over a draft of the 2018-19 schedule while having Chinese food for lunch – a less glamorous part of the job than handing out the Stanley Cup each June but part of the gig.So is planning for the future, even though Bettman is under contract through 2022 and shows no signs of slowing down. Daly, who’s 54, thinks Bettman will work long enough that owners should look to someone younger as the next commissioner, but his boss is more than comfortable handing him the reins if anything went wrong.”What if God forbid I get hit by a bus?” Bettman said. ”Well, I’ve built an organization that, if need be, I’d hope they’d miss me somewhat, but if need be could carry on.”—

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