Last night after the Bruins lost 4-3 to the Canadiens, a number of people went to Twitter to call PK Subban the N-word.
If I had to bet, I'd say many of these folks are attention seeking trolls. You know the kind. They'll post jokes about the Boston Marathon bombing, or 9/11, whatever it takes to get attention. They don't care if it's negative or positive. They feed off the retweets, the responses (both good and bad). They love getting negative responses. They feel powerful because they've made someone else feel something. And when they collectively make their garbage trend, and piss off the entire internet, they feel even more powerful.
Also many of the people who Tweeted this filth are truly racists. They get mad when they see someone with the color of PK Subban's skin happy and celebrating. It pisses them off, it defies their view of the world, and their idea of the proper order of things. Blacks should be the low-wage janitors cleaning up the arena, not the star hockey players standing triumphant on the ice.
Both of these groups, the attention seeking trolls and the genuine racists, are not worth the attention.
I'm not saying we should ignore racism and hope it goes away. But the racists themselves deserve little to no recognition. They can't be reasoned with. They should be identified and marked (which unfortunately is near impossible over Twitter) as racist. Then their rhetoric and jokes should be dismissed as the childish crap that it is.
This is one of my favorite scenes from the classic film Twelve Angry Men. The movie is about 12 jurors arguing the guilt or innocence of a young man accused of murder. In this scene one of the jurors uses his racial prejudices to argue for convicting the defendant. I love the reaction of the other 11 jurors.
That's what we should do to these trolls and racists. Ignore their vile language. Don't give them the recognition they crave, just mark them and move on with your life. "That guy's a racist, his opinions are crap, don't pay attention to him."
If I could talk to PK Subban today, I would reinforce to him that most of us in Boston dislike him because he's a flopping douche, and because he plays so well for a team we dislike so much. I'd dislike him just as much if he were white.
And as much as I dislike Subban, I dislike these trolls and racists even more. PK Subban deserves my attention. These idiots do not.