Wayne Simmonds, like many of his NHL compatriots, has taken his game overseas during the NHL lockout. But unlike many of the other players in Europe, Simmonds has had to deal with abuse from the fans as well as opposing players.
The Flyers forward, who is now playing for Liberec in the Czech Republic's Extraliga, got into a fight during the team's game with Chomutov on Sunday. After the fight, some fans of the home team started chanting "opice" at Simmonds — a word that translates to "monkey," according to Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy.
This comes a little over a year after a fan threw a banana peel onto the ice during a preseason game in Canada while Simmonds was skating in for a penalty shot. Having played hockey his entire life, Simmonds has dealt with situations like this in the past and has learned to deal with them.
"When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport,
you've got to come to expect things like that," Simmonds told the Philadelphia Daily News after the incident in Canada. "Over the past 23 years of my life, I've come to expect some things like that. But I'm older
and more mature now, I kind of just let things roll off [my back]. I
try not to think about stuff like that."
Following the game on Sunday, Chomutov released a statement in which they condemned the actions of those fans, apologized Simmonds and urged those fans to stay away from Chomutov games in the future.
Additionally, the club sent an official letter of apology to Simmonds on Monday.
Photo courtesy of Facebook/Piráti Chomutov