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Nazem Kadri’s Hat-Trick Hopefully a Lesson for Hateful Blues Fans

Fueled by the hateful messages from a few Blues fans, Nazem Kadri potted three goals to give the Avs a 3-1 series lead.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, karma is defined as the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. When it comes to Nazem Kadri’s three-goal performance in Game 4 of the Colorado Avalanche series versus the St. Louis Blues, the hateful fans who sent racist and threatening notes to Kadri and his family might have a better understanding that karma has a way of evening the score.

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Perhaps Kadri doesn’t believe in karma. But as a Muslim (Muslims share a similar concept called Kifarah) who has been dealing with messages of hate for years, he certainly knows the fans can take this hockey thing and passion for their team too far. During an interview in 2010, said that he has never had any problems on the ice with “trash talk” about his religious beliefs, but a certain contingent of Blues fans triggered him this week with their own lack of decorum and his response to them in Game 4 was probably the best thing he could do, even if he shouldn’t have had to.

Three goals and a win by the Avalanche don’t erase the countless messages Kadri says he’s received over the years. But, he did say, “For those who hate, that was for them.”

The despicable messages came after a game the Avalanche won where goaltender Jordan Binnington was knocked out of the contest and won’t return to the series because of a crash in the crease that Kadri was a part of. Searching for a loose puck, Kadri and Calle Rosen both hit the netminder with force and Kadri took the brunt of the blame, thanks mostly to his past reputation for questionable hits in the playoffs. But, despite Kadri not being solely responsible, a number of Blues fans took to sending him messages that were in less-than-poor taste, and the team and league are looking into it.

The Avalanche won Game 4 and have a commanding 3-1 series lead after the Avs stormed back and took the lead and on the heels of Kadri’s hat-trick. Kadri noted that the comments made by both Blues’ head coach Craig Berube — comments about his on-ice reputation — and the fans were the motivation he needed. “I guess I needed some fuel. I was pretty upset from the last couple days,” Kadri said. He explained, “Starting with their head coach, he made some comments I wasn’t a fan of. I guess he’s never heard of bulletin board material.” Then to get threats and messages of hate from Blues fans because of his background and heritage was all he needed to prove a point.

Players Shouldn’t Have to Be Motivated By Hate

While he noted those few fans didn’t speak for all of St. Louis, it’s great that Kadri was able to shove this back in the face of those fans who took things way too far. Hopefully, those people will look in the mirror and realize they’ve done more to hurt their team than to help it. That said, this isn’t how things should be.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche 1
Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche 1

Kadri’s motivation should be to win and stay competitive. There shouldn’t be a need to answer for racism and hatred on the ice and if he has to win because of a hatred for something, it should solely for his hatred to lose.

Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet writes, “One of the most frustrating things about this Kadri situation: After seeing him overcome all this hate thrown at him, it’ll just be wrapped up as an obstacle moved past. As a stepping stone to some type of greatness. A bad thing, but maybe not so bad, because of what came of it.”

Berube was asked about the hate messages Kadri received after his three goals on Monday and said, “I have no comments on that stuff.”

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