SIMMONDS RETURNS AND MORE SLURS FLY
New York Rangers pest Sean Avery accused Flyers' forward Wayne Simmonds of calling him a homophobic slur during a penalty-filled exhibition game between the Flyers and Rangers Monday night that ended in a 5-3 Flyers win.
Here is a link to my good friends over at CrossingBroad.com where there are three videos involving Simmonds and Avery, the latter two seem to show Simmonds calling Avery some choice words.
You be the judge of what was said by watching the videos.
Here is a transcript of Avery post game:
Q: Did he call you what we think he called you?
Q: Is he going to say that there was anything as a precursor?
“I mean, I certainly hope not. Are you implying that it would be from something that I said?”
No, I was just asking.
“No, I mean from my end. I certainly wasn’t.”
Q: Are you familiar with what happened with him last week?
“Yeah, it is really disappointing. First of all, who would do that? And why would you do it? It just such an unnecessary thing. It’s something that’s not even an issue with us or our sport. So to be here now and having to answer your questions about what he did is disappointing for me.”
Q: Do you feel like when someone does something like that they should be treated in a similar context (inaudible)?
“I mean Kobe got fined 100 grand. Everything is different now. You know, it’s an issue. It is an issue that people are dealing with and trying to overcome. And I guess ten years ago, maybe it was not such an issue. But it is such an issue politically with people in the game and just in life in general.”
Q: Is there concern that you were kind of vocal with the video you did this summer that players will come back against you?
“I mean, it has been said. It has been said for years. Whether I thought about it in that sense, I don’t know.”
Q: So, you think he just said it out of emotion?
“I can’t. I have no idea.”
Q: Would you like to see the league take a stand on this?
“That’s something that I’m not really going to comment on. First of all, me commenting on things like that, the backlash that I could receive is unknown and I don’t want to put the team in a situation where they would have to deal with something because of me wanting to see something happen. So, I’m not going to get into it.”
The slur, if it was in fact used by Simmonds, may be stemming from this video made by Avery last summer in support of gay marriage.
For his part, Simmonds didn't admit to calling Avery the slur, but he didn't really deny it either.
Here's a transcript of his interview postgame:
"We were just at the bottom of the scrum and I felt that (Avery) sucker-punched me and we were just going back and forth the rest of the game. Emotions run high and we exchanged words with each other."
Q: On the video it looks like there might have been a slur of some kind...
"Honestly, we were going back and forth for awhile there and I don't recall every single thing I said to him, but he said some things I didn't like and I said some things he didn't like. But, I can't recall every single word I said."
Q: What did he say to you?
"Things got said out there... (inaudible)... but I'm not going to say what he said."
Q: Avery said very definitely that you called him a homophobic slur and he said he didn'tthink he said anything that would have prompted that.
"He didn't think he said anything? It's Sean Avery, come on now. Who knows what comes out of his mouth."
"Well we were going back and forth battling the whole time. He definitely said some things to me that I wasn't too happy about. That's the way it is.
Q: Did he say anything that crossed the line?
"I don't know. I can't recall every single word that he said. I'm not here to say that or he said this. I'm not going to rat him out. It doesn't really matter to me. It's in the heat of a hockey game, that's what it is."
Q: Do you feel that you said anything to him that crossed the line?
"I don't think so. It just got heated like I said before. I may have thrown a couple swear words at him, but that's just what happens sometimes."
Q: Considering what just happened with you last week, is it surprising to find yourself at the other end of this?
"It's something that happens every game. Guys say stuff. It's the heat of the battle of the game. It's not necessarily that things are said to hurt people. It's just something that happens."
I will have an opinion on this later after I give you all some time to take all this in.
Here's a preview of my thoughts:
Wayne Simmonds did nothing wrong. Sean Avery is a troublemaker. The New York Media (and in an effort to keep pace, we, the Philadelphia media) have blown this out of proportion.