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Celtics

Philly Writer: Boston Sports Fans Are Racist

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
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BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: Fans of the Boston Celtics show their support during the game against the Atlanta Hawks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – MAY 6: Fans of the Boston Celtics show their support during the game against the Atlanta Hawks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — You knew that after Kevin Garnett said Philadelphia fans were “fair-weather” that there would be some sort of response out of the City of Brotherly Love. But this is just stupid.

Philly.com writer John Mitchell wrote a blog Tuesday night titled “‘Fair-weathered’ beats bigoted any day.”

“You think we’re the fair weather type, do you?” Mitchell wrote. “OK, to that I say that it’s better to be fair weather than to be anything remotely akin the cretins that unleashed their racist vitriol via Twitter upon Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Ward, a Black hockey player, last month after he eliminated Boston’s Bruins from the NHL playoffs with an overtime goal.”

For background, after Ward (who is a forward, not a defenseman, for accuracy’s sake) scored a series-clinching goal in Boston, some people took to Twitter to spread racist, hateful messages. Some were Bruins fans; some weren’t even hockey fans. All of them were foolish human beings, and they represented a small percentage of the population.

Despite that, the Bruins went out of their way to speak out against such racist tweets, and Ward said he understood that the people who wrote ignorant messages on Twitter weren’t representative of the people.

“I’m definitely getting a lot of support,” Ward said. “There have been a lot of Boston fans who have supported me, which is very cool to see. No hard feelings from me.”

Unfortunately, the more publicity these hateful messages got, the more life they were given. Mitchell’s story drummed it up yet again, a full month later.

“Can’t really call this an isolated incident, my friend, not unless you believe that those clowns were gathered together in some sort of Bruins/Skinheads gathering and, after their team went down, they all took to Twitter once Ward drove the stake through Boston’s heart,” Mitchell added. “No, this wasn’t the whole Boston fan base, not at all. But it’s not a coincidence that Bill Russell, the biggest sports winner in the history of Boston sports, absolutely loathed the city and a fan base that he saw as racist. His words, not mine.”

Russell played with the Celtics from 1956-69. Some things in the city have changed since then, so to bring up Russell’s experiences from the civil rights era and attempt to apply it to the modern day and age is irrelevant and borders on offensive.

Mitchell then said that if the Celtics lose this year, those same racist fans will unleash their racist hatred toward him.

“So my advice to you, KG, is that you’re better off winning this series, the next one and then the next,” Mitchell wrote. “Because if you let those stalwart fans down, who knows what they’ll unleash on you. We do know what they are capable of. “

If the lone goal of Mitchell’s “story” was to draw attention to himself, then his mission was most certainly accomplished. Bravo!

If he was trying to make sense, though, he failed miserably. Maybe he ought to stick to basketball writing rather than tossing out sweeping generalizations about the population of an entire city. Isn’t that what he’s opposed to in the first place?

Read more from Michael by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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