In a world where everything is caught on tape, recorded or shared on social media, players don’t get away with much. And, in a world where using a racial slur is about the worst thing one player can say to another, or a coach can say to a player… in fact, what one person can say to another person… everyone involved in hockey should simply know better by now.
So, to hear defenseman Brandon Manning has been suspended for using a racial slur toward an opponent in an AHL game is shocking. To see the organization has followed up with comments about the serious nature of the incident is not a surprise.
Bakersfield Condors general manager Keith Gretzky released the following statement on the matter:
“We are aware of an unacceptable comment directed toward an Ontario Reign player by Bakersfield Condors defencemen Brandon Manning during last night’s game. This is a very serious matter, we are disappointed by Brandon’s comment and we fully support the American Hockey League’s decision. The Oilers and Condors organizations wholeheartedly believe in a respectful workplace and will work to better educate our players on appropriate conduct on and off the ice.”
Not Good For Manning’s Future
This is really not good for Brandon Manning’s future in the NHL. Already a player who may or may not see more NHL action, this type of behavior is unacceptable and the organizations involved with the Edmonton Oilers and Bakersfield Condors may look at this as a last straw kind of situation. No word on if the team will suspend him further but we’ll keep an eye on this situation and report more as we have it.
There will be a lot of reaction to this news, some people suggesting five games isn’t nearly enough. Remember, Bill Peters resigned as coach of the Calgary Flames this year when it was revealed he used a racial slur over a decade ago. With some much knowledge about how much doing something like this can be seen as a career killer, Manning may have just made a career-ending decision.
Manning Was Already a Controversial Player in Oilers Nation
Unfortunately, fans in Edmonton may immediately go back to the relationship between Manning and Connor McDavid and suggest Manning is/was a bad apple. After all, it was Manning who injured Connor in his rookie year and said he’d done it on purpose. The two later became teammates in a trade that Peter Chiarelli is still catching flack for, but fans will now question whether or not Manning was genuine when he said he didn’t really mean it when he said he exagerrated the fact he was out to hurt Connor. It was shrugged off as something people just say in the heat of battle.
Hopefully, fans can separate these two incidences.
Manning has commented about his recent suspension and the use of a slur saying, “Last night I made comments to an opposing player that were stupid and offensive. After the game I spoke with the player in person, which I’m very grateful for. He allowed me to apologize and I took full responsibility for what I said.”
He then vowed to be better and learn from this.
It’s one thing to get caught up in the heat of competition, but this is not a matter that will be taken lightly.
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