May 6, 2007

Strange Bit on Red Wing Great Ted Lindsay

Ted Lindsay of the Detroit Red Wings From the hockey column by Red Fisher, of The Montreal Gazette:
This just in: Opposition party leaders announced in Parliament today they want Detroit's Ted Lindsay to be deducted from the Hockey Hall of Fame for hurling racist slurs at the Canadiens during the 1953-54 Stanley Cup final.
Hat tip to The Commentator for the find.

There is nothing on the websites of either the Canadian Parliament or the Liberal Party of Canada. My suspicion is that - if this is indeed true - the motion was announced by some grandstanding fringe politician. I cannot see the benefit for the Canadian Liberals to pursue this.

The nature of the alleged slurs was not listed in the blurb, but I would hazard a guess that it involved French-speaking players (fill in your own demeaning epithet).

The problem here is that 21st-century morals are being anachronistically imposed upon a person's actions over 50 years ago. If Ted Lindsay did, indeed, refer to a Montreal Candien player in a denigrating fashion, that is regrettable, but unfortunately there were quite a few racial and ethnic slurs tossed around in the 1950s.

I had a few brief dealings with Ted Lindsay when I worked at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit during the 1980s. He was a regular in the Red Wing Alumni Room, and was a courteous, kind man who never hesitated to sign autographs or stop and talk with nobodies like me.

More importantly - he used to be good friends with an employee in the concessions department named Jessie Thomas, an African-American man who unloaded the hundreds of kegs of beer that came in for every Red Wings game and concert at the Joe. I recall Ted and Jessie many times talking hockey or politics outside of the commissary, and if Ted Lindsay is a racist, then Mother Theresa was a drunken barroom floozy.


Hooda Thunkit said...

"...the 1953-54 Stanley Cup final."

Methinks somebody needs to get over it and move on with their lives...

And the "secret life" of Mother Theresa is something that we Catholics don't openly talk about, as it tends to tarnish her saintly image ;-)

HumboldtsClio said...

I got to meet Ted Lindsay earlier this year. He did a ceremonial puck dropping at our playoffs this year. He is a very nice courteous man.

I didn't even know there was any racial epithet for a Canadian other than Canuck!

If every athlete who ever made a racist remark was removed from his respective hall of fame, those grand halls would be empty indeed.

Agreed this is a solid case of presentism.

The Screaming Nutcase said...

Maybe this was suggested by the same guy who wants Bigfoot on the endangered species list.

MC said...

I think context is also important... and not just the year either. I mean, the acts took place in the middle of a game, when athletes say the worst things to each other to throw their competitors off their own game. I am sure even the sainted Wayne Gretzky said some things on the ice that would be controversial.

Jett Shepherd said...

well, his nickname wasn't Sweetness and Light Lindsay!