Home | Contents | Photos | News | Reviews | Store | Forum | ICI | Educators | Fans | Contests | Help | FAQ | Info

Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

After Latest Incident, Islesí Simon to Get Help


First Nations chief wants Simon apology from NHL exec

Last Updated: Thursday, December 20, 2007 | 7:15 PM ET
The Canadian Press

The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations says NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell should apologize to Chris Simon for mistakenly suggesting the Islanders forward is receiving drug and alcohol treatment following his latest league-imposed suspension.

Phil Fontaine released a statement Thursday, the day after Campbell announced Simon would be banned for 30 games, the longest suspension in league history for an on-ice incident, for stomping on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu in a game last weekend.

During a media conference call Wednesday, Campbell said he hoped "the actual help he's going to get and counselling he's going to get from the drug and the alcohol doctors" would help Simon "deal with the problem he has."

A league spokesman said Campbell was actually referring to the NHL's Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program, which is providing Simon counselling for behavioural management.

Counselling details are kept confidential, but Islanders spokesman Chris Botta confirmed drugs and alcohol are "not the issue."

Fontaine said Campbell should personally apologize to Simon.

"I agree with the NHL, and the vast majority of hockey fans, that Mr. Simon must be punished for this unfortunate incident with a Pittsburgh player during last Saturday's game," said Fontaine.

"However, it was extremely hurtful to Mr. Simon, and his many fans, including those in our First Nations communities, to hear from Mr. Campbell that such behaviour is related to drug and-or alcohol abuse."

Campbell, the NHL's senior executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, refused to comment Thursday.

"I spoke to Islanders coach Ted Nolan last night who informed me that Mr.Simon has been very hurt and embarrassed by Mr. Campbell's comments, even though an NHL spokesman did make a correction," Fontaine added. "Mr. Simon, and all of his fans, would like to hear an apology, especially since it smacks of stereotyping."

Nolan, who like Simon is Ojibwa, was also angered by the comments.

"It really bothered me, the implication, even if it was just a careless omission," Nolan told the Associated Press after Wednesday night's game against Buffalo.

"These types of things are very damaging for someone in [Campbell's] position to say when he has no factual information. If we said something like that, we'd be suspended. But there are no repercussions.

"Chris has a history of that type of thing and has worked extremely hard to overcome that. That's his personal life, and a statement like that could affect his reputation and affect the rest of his life. We talk about sensitive issues, but maybe some other people need sensitivity training."

Simon missed the first five games of this season while completing a 25-game ban handed out in March. That was the previous record for an NHL suspension.

Related links
Drunken Indians

* More opinions *
  Join our Native/pop culture blog and comment
  Sign up to receive our FREE newsletter via e-mail
  See the latest Native American stereotypes in the media
  Political and social developments ripped from the headlines

. . .

Home | Contents | Photos | News | Reviews | Store | Forum | ICI | Educators | Fans | Contests | Help | FAQ | Info

All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2008 by Robert Schmidt.

Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.

Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.