I apologize in advance for the swearing and I sincerely apologize for the racial slurs.
This letter is addressed to SJHL president Mr. Chow and Weyburn Red Wings president Mr. Sabados, but I sincerely hope to have a response from Madame Mayor, Debra Button.
I would like to formally complain about a specific fan behavior at the Weyburn/Flin Flon Bomber game held Saturday, January 26.
As a little background information, I attended the game with my wife and my 78-year-old father who had a massive stroke about 2.5 years ago and my 68-year-old mother. This was their first trip of any kind since my father's stroke and the first time they would see their grandson play in the SJHL.
As most grandparents, they are very proud of their grandson and so the chance to see him play in person was going to be a very special evening. Weyburn was the closest destination point from their home in Lorette, Manitoba and so to get him to a game, took a tremendous toll on his body, but he really wanted to go.
The evening was completely ruined by one Weyburn fan.
When Flin Flon scored their first goal and we cheered, his comment was, "If you are going to cheer for the other team you should f#!%ing move."
I was shocked, my mother was shocked and the scary thing is, that those were the nicest words that came out of his foul mouth for the entire game.
I am okay with passionate fans, I am okay with being a little emotional when my team is scored against. I understand being frustrated at the refs for making what you believe is a bad call. All totally acceptable to a point. What cannot be tolerated is making deliberate racial slurs at people who were not even in the game. At that point in time you're simply a racist.
The trainer for the Bombers is of East Indian decent. When he walked in front of this fan he said "hey Abdul, where is your turban." When he walked by another time, he called him a "baboon" and a "f#!%ing baboon".
Devin Buffalo was the back-up goalie on Saturday night. Devin is Native American. Your "fan" yelled out on several occasion "hey Buffalo, why don't you go back to your reserve and go back to your teepee. Did you bring your teepee, go home you native bastard". This was not once but several times. On two different occasions, Devin looked back and stared at the guy, so obviously he heard what the guy was saying. Devin, showing a lot more class than the Weyburn fan, simply turned around and watched the game.
So much more can be said about what he said about the play or players on the ice. I am certain that telling players from Weyburn to hurt the other players is going a little bit beyond friendly competition.
It was constant from the time the puck dropped to the end of the game and the worse thing was, we paid to hear this bile.
Because of my father's limited mobility, once we found our spot, it was very hard to move and really, we should not have had to move to enjoy our game.
During the second period, this person was selling raffle tickets to the public at a table near the entrance. I think letting him in the building should not be allowed but to allow him to volunteer means that Weyburn accepts this type of behavior.
The sign on the door to enter the arena says that this is a Zero Tolerance facility.
We went and approached the security guard during the second intermission and asked. "The guy selling tickets at the table…is he always like that". The security guard never even had to look and said "yep he is always like that. We tell him to quiet down, it lasts for two minutes and then he is back at it again". The security guard was joined by a woman. She snickered and said "yep, being doing that for almost 40 years". My sister then said. "I am somewhat ok with the swearing but the racial slurs are unacceptable". Their response. "He has always been that way".
My questions are as follows.
Is this acceptable to the SJHL?
Is this acceptable to the Weyburn hockey team?
Is this acceptable to the City or Weyburn?
What is going to be done about this situation?
What do I need to do more formally to this letter to ensure this person never walks into the Weyburn rink ever again?
Please do not tell me that he will get another verbal warning because the people at the rink admitted that he has been told time and time again.
Is the City of Weyburn planning on removing the zero tolerance signs in the building because it appears that you are okay with this behavior, so much so that you let these types of people volunteer.
Hey Weyburn, you ruined a really special weekend.
KEN CHARTRAND, MBA