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Peng to the Point

Brad Marchand Was Wrong

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Credit: NBCSN

Every Sunday at Peng to the Point, we talk about the world away from the San Jose Sharks.

Brad Marchand was wrong.

Let’s rewind — last Tuesday, the Boston Bruins Twitter issued this statement from Bruins players:

Shortly thereafter, Tuukka Rask appeared on NBCSN, wearing a Boston Police cap.

This juxtaposition caught Boston Globe reporter Matt Porter’s attention:

Brad Marchand responded in a swiftly deleted tweet:

The next day, however, Marchand didn’t back down in his media availability:

“The reason I deleted my tweet was not because I regretted tweeting it. It was because I didn’t want to bring any attention to [Porter].

“Tuuks was given a hat by a friend that he wore in an interview prior to the statement being released. That’s OK for him to support a friend and wear a hat.

“It doesn’t change the fact that we all stand united against trying to end racism and being part of that solution. And Tuuks is part of that. He’s onboard, as are all of us.

“What Matt did was he tried to create a buzz that would affect himself positively, and get more followers, get more attention, get more likes when it’s hurting what we’re trying to move forward with.”

My thoughts: I get Marchand standing up for his teammate.

I get that Rask, according to Marchard, was supporting a friend. Rask, I imagine, has had more positive experiences with the police than many others.

What I don’t get is Marchand singling out a reporter who was doing his job and pointing out the stark incongruity of the players’ statement and Rask’s statement.

It’s ill-timed, at best, to wear a Boston Police hat on the same day that Bruins players issued a statement claiming “we have been trying to educate ourselves and learn about racial injustice in our country and around the world.” If you’ve spent one honest minute trying to educate yourself about racial injustice, that should be fairly obvious.

And make no mistake, Rask, even if he says he wasn’t, was making a statement.

Even if Rask wore the cap before the Bruins’ tweet — in this current climate, wearing police paraphernalia during a televised interview is a statement.

Even if the statement was ultimately that Rask, contradicting his own teammates’ claims, hadn’t actually bothered to educate himself about racial injustice. That wouldn’t be surprising, right? That the Bruins players’ statement, attributed to them, wasn’t actually conceived by them, but instead, was corporate virtue signaling.

Ignorance, after all, is a statement too. Letting other people talk for you is a statement too.

Back to Marchand: For what it’s worth, I believe it’s possible, as he stated, to “stand united against trying to end racism” while wearing a Boston Police cap. We can certainly recognize that there are individual police officers who are good people. If that were Rask’s statement, we can have a civil conversation around that statement. If Rask wished to own another statement, we can have a civil conversation around that too.

But let’s have that conversation, instead of laying into a reporter who simply pointed out the obvious.

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Erik Johnsgard

Really well said, dude. Preach.

Erik Johnsgard

Hell yeah, Sheng, I’m always excited to see your work. Doing better than most during the Mad Max times, I’m sure. Really glad you decided to stay in the game now that I’m a dumb fan instead of a dumb writer!

nitetothemare

Thank you saying this so eloquently. I was beside myself when this was all going down.

Douglas Nuttman

Absolute absurdity. All you’re doing now is continuing to perpetuate the narrative in order to get likes and make a name for yourself. This is what we call journalism now???

david barnard

Sheng, this reporter was doing what all of the media are doing right now, he was going after a player who dared to wear a hat supporting the “enemy”. just like the reporters who went after Jonathan Isaac-ironically, a black player- for not kneeling and for not wearing #BLM merch.

david barnard

not nearly as wide as the brush the cops are being painted with. and it’s not like they haven’t earned it. the majority of the media is passed its “tipping point”.

Brice Robertson

Sheng, I’m a little confused. Do you associate support for Police officers, say here in the Bay Area (or in the case of Tuukka, in Boston) with not supporting Black Lives Matter or somehow being against racial injustice?

Douglas Nuttman

Own what exactly? Looks like Rask owned it during an interview. He wore a hat supporting a Law Enforcement agency for the city in which he plays. What are you implying in this article? Sorry editorial. Thanks for educating me. What are you doing other than writing some something to cause more of a stir and make people more divided by inserting your opinion on a platform that is going to get distributed and get a ton more views than the average person.

david barnard

i thought it was a weak explanation/response as well. i don’t believe he just threw on a hat that someone offered him. i wish he would’ve stood up for what he obviously believes. we could use some push back on the hate train.

david barnard

i know you’re a thoughtful guy who wants to have “conversations” about difficult subject matter; however, that is not true for the vast majority of the media. “cancel culture” is rampant and there are too many dishonest actors steering the ship.

Douglas Nuttman

@Brice I agree. Admittedly, I haven’t seen the interview but I don’t believe it requires any justification. Being former military in the US Navy I shouldn’t have to justify wearing my SJ Sharks hat, shirt, gear etc. I also shouldn’t have to justify wearing a hat supporting our armed forces or our country for which I served but here I am doing it.

david barnard

honestly wish they’d just fix the problems in their own damn sport before even thinking about jumping on the anti-LE, misguided, hate train.

david barnard

well, i’ve taken part on several community level issues and concerns that benefited from a focused effort at problem solving, rather than some broader strokes approach. efforts and results tend get diluted the more you try to solve every social ill with 1 “fix”.

david barnard

getting your message and efforts to fix what’s wrong with hockey, culturally speaking, mixed up with a sham political organization like BLM (the org) is a big mistake, imo. i’m not going to go further into a very deep political/social discussion here, so that’s the gist of my original comment.

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