While the NHL has said it will not punish Philadelphia Flyer Wayne Simmonds for using a gay slur directed at Sean Avery during Monday's game, that hasn't stopped a growing chorus of people asking them to do so. A change.org petition asking for the NHL to fine Simmonds had over 35,000 signatures as of Thursday morning; the petition's stated goal is 50,000 signatures.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke told ESPNNewYork.com that he thinks any gay slur should come with some punishment, though he left open the possibility that Simmonds' denial in this case is true:
That type of comment has no place in the game.
If that happened, that is just so embarrassing and the league should not tolerate it. That should be treated on the same level as a racially charged incident. It's the same level of offensiveness and inappropriateness.
You can reach the NHL via their Web site where there is a pull-down option to write about "NHL Diversity."
Meanwhile, police have charged a man for the banana-throwing incident last week involving Simmonds, though police say there's no evidence of a hate crime...which is about as logical as the NHL saying they're not sure Simmonds called Avery a "fucking faggot."