Givani Smith responds to racist taunts on the scoresheet

Red Wings prospect Givani Smith posted a Tweet from “Herrle’s Farm Market” of all places, and it sounds like undignified fan behavior took place during last night’s Kitchener Rangers-Sarnia Sting game (in which Smith scored a goal and added an assist in Kitchener’s 5-3 win):

I don’t have any further details regarding last night’s incident, and to say the least, racist taunts are just disgusting and unacceptable…

And instead, the London Free Press’s Ryan Pyette reports that Smith played great hockey last night:

The Sting have a major Givani Smith headache right now. There isn’t enough Tylenol in the world to make him go away.

The Kitchener power forward threw his team on his back in the third period Thursday, turning a tied contest to the Rangers favour with a late goal and assist to wrestle back home-ice advantage with a 5-3 Game 4 victory before 4,289 Thursday at Progressive Auto Sales Arena. The best-of-seven OHL Western Conference semifinal is tied 2-2.

“He’s a big man,” Sarnia associate coach David Legwand said of Smith. “He can make plays down there (in the offensive zone). I thought we did a good job in the series so far (against him). Obviously tonight didn’t go the way we wanted. The first four games don’t mean anything now. Go to Kitch and win a hockey game (Friday).”

Sting centre Drake Rymsha, drilled from behind by Smith on his opening shift, tried to go after him at the final buzzer. Smith had everyone riled up, as usual. If you’re looking for him, he’s usually parked right in front of Sting goalie Justin Fazio, jabbing at him with his stick.

“He loves it,” Kitchener coach Jay McKee said. “I wish he enjoyed it less. We had the refs come over and talk to us about him many times — just stuff in between whistles. My response is that’s what we traded for. We wanted an energy guy who gets in the heads of other guys and he plays hard.”

McKee and Sarnia coach Derian Hatcher spent most of their hockey careers trying to stop players like Smith. It’s emotionally, mentally and physically draining.

“He can wear you down, especially junior (d-men) because of how he’s built,” McKee said. “We saw him a lot when he played with Guelph and our guys didn’t enjoy playing against him.”

Pyette continues

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

5 thoughts on “Givani Smith responds to racist taunts on the scoresheet”

  1. Needless to say, on this page, but it’s beyond pathetic that anyone, anywhere resorts to the dumbest and ugliest of slurs or taunts in 2018. But…but…you’re a good player…on the opposing team…and you’re a different race.

    It’s a long way to go from the OHL but I’m excited we have a young guy with the build and attitude – and enough skills – to be effective irritating opposing teams. And the composure to keep producing and help his team win when the opposing team targets him.

    1. It just goes to show how far we are from a racist free society. We are still not an equal society.

  2. “The guy everyone hates unless he is on your team.”

    I don’t know how much I buy the above quote; if you’re a dirty player, you’re a dirty player. I can’t imagine me ever liking Matt Cooke before his transformation.

    Still, if he can be an effective player and an agitator? Like maybe 1/4th of what Brad Marchand is?

    1. I do not think that quote is a fair assessment of what it is like to be one of a few black men in a sport dominated by white men. I wonder, would Smith be this kind of player if there weren’t racist people in the hockey world? Just think about how few hockey players of color haven’t had an edge to their game. I can’t think of many.

  3. Givani Smith sounds like the kind of player the Wings could use. Be fun to watch him develop. Don’t like to hear of racial issues as you’d like to think those days are behind us.

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