Immigration

Indian Immigrants Are Saving Canadian Hockey

How the Punjabi diaspora rescued Canada's national sport

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Love sometimes shows up in the strangest places. For Canadian hockey, that place is the Punjabi Indian diaspora, which hails from my own ancestral province of Punjab in Northern India. Thanks to Harnarayan Singh, the turbaned-and-bearded Sikh host of the weekly TV show Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition, the community has overcome a fear of rejection and embraced its adopted country's national sport with a hot passion.

The standard English version of Hockey Night in Canada has been a must-watch for fans of the sport since its TV debut in 1953. But lately, it has been languishing. Singh's spicy new Punjabi version, on the other hand, has been catching on—and not only among South Asians. (Punjabi is the language spoken in the northern Indian province of Punjab, where Sikhism was born.)

President Donald Trump and his fellow immigration restrictionists warn that "mass immigration" from "shitholes"—and Punjab would certainly qualify—poses a threat to Western culture. On a trip to England in 2018, Trump said it was a "shame" that excessively loose immigration policies were changing the "fabric" of Europe's culture. In fact, the E.U. admits about as many immigrants per capita as the United States does—fewer than five per 1,000 people in the host country.

Canada admits eight per 1,000. The foreign-born make up over 20 percent of that country's population, compared to less than 14 percent of America's. And Canadians with South Asian ancestry are projected to hit 9 percent of Canada's population by 2036. If Trump were right, ice hockey would be on its way out, and cricket, a far more popular sport in India, would be ascendant in the Great White North. In fact, the opposite is the case. Instead of threatening this quintessential Canadian institution, immigrants are strengthening it at a time when it needs the help.

To say that hockey is an institution in Canada is an understatement. It is more like a national religion. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called it the great "common denominator" that glues the country together. Fully half of players in the National Hockey League (NHL), which despite the name has teams from both the U.S. and Canada, are Canadian—down from 75 percent in 1980. The United States, a nation of 330 million people, had about 562,000 registered players in 2017–18, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation. Canada, a country with one-tenth the U.S. population, had 637,000.

That represents a decline of about 80,000 from Canada's 2014–15 peak, a development that has generated a great deal of angst up north. The main reason for the drop is that blue-blooded—or, per local parlance, "old stock"—Canadians are developing qualms about the cost and safety of the sport.

At first blush, immigrants who hail from the Indian subcontinent—many of whom had never seen snow, let alone skated on ice, until they arrived in Canada—seem like unlikely saviors of the game. An additional challenge is that this group has tended to see hockey as a white man's sport, where minorities (and women) are not welcome.

Their perception is not altogether mistaken.

Hockey has been more resistant to diversifying than some other sports. A decade after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947, the NHL was still hanging on to an informal no-color policy. It finally relented in 1958, allowing the injury-ridden Boston Bruins to recruit Willie O'Ree, a black Canadian player.

It's hard to conclusively say whether racism is worse in ice hockey than in football or basketball, where racial and ethnic minorities have a larger presence. But in the NHL, only about 25 out of some 700 total players are black, and only four are of Asian descent. The league is 93 percent white. Lack of diversity doesn't necessarily stem from racism, but it can offer fertile soil for it.

Hockey teams are like warring tribes, and a subset of fans has shown itself willing to reach for whatever intimidation tactic it can to obtain a psychological advantage over the other side. That can include screaming, and sometimes hurling racial epithets, at the opposing players. Fans have been known to throw bananas or make monkey calls at black members of the opposing team. Players, too, lob racial insults to get under the skin of their opponents. P.K. Subban, one of the NHL's highest-profile black players, was subjected to a deluge of racist tweets after he scored two goals, including the overtime game winner, against the Boston Bruins in 2014.

In March, an opposing player confronted Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, a semiprofessional Canadian defenseman, in the penalty box and showed him a picture of a baboon on his cellphone. Meanwhile, fans began harassing Diaby's girlfriend and telling his father, a former professional soccer player from the Ivory Coast, to "go back home." Diaby was so outraged that he walked out midgame. That same month, an amateur league playoff in Western New York was canceled following a similar incident.

But racism is arguably an even bigger problem at the lower levels. Earlier this year, after two 13-year-old black American players in two different states were separately subjected to highly publicized taunting, Subban sprang into action. He made a video telling one of the kids, Ty Cornett, whose parents had told NHL.com they were thinking about pulling him out of the sport, to "stay strong" and hang in there. Meanwhile, Subban's dad reached out to the other kid, Divyne Apollon II, and encouraged him to not give up. "You are not  defined by the color of your skin," he said, according to The Washington Post. "You are defined by your potential."

In his exhaustive 2003 study of racism in the NHL, veteran sports reporter Cecil Harris wrote that every black player "has had to wage a personal battle for acceptance and respect….Facing abuse that is verbal, physical or psychological because of their color has been an unfortunate reality for almost all of them."

A more recent study by Courtney Szto, an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health at Queen's University in Ontario, found that South Asian players in Canadian hockey are consistently subjected to racist treatment. Yet members of this group are drawn to the sport, says Szto, a former player, because it makes them feel more Canadian.

This is unusual. As City University of New York sociologist Richard Alba has pointed out, assimilation is not generally thought of as a matter of volition—something that immigrants affirmatively choose to do. Instead, it's what happens to newcomers when they're "making other plans." Indian kids form a taste for Big Macs rather than seekh kebabs because their moms can find a McDonald's far more easily than a dhaba (Indian roadside restaurant).

But hockey is not a matter of convenience or an afterthought for Indo-Canadians, especially Punjabis. They are avid followers of the sport, and not because they can't keep up with cricket. In our wired world, they can—and do. But nothing says "Canadian" to them more than watching a game at Scotiabank Arena wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.

Because of Canada's immigration policies, South Asians tend to come from skilled professions and are among the country's better earners. Hence, even though they're new to the country, they often have the means to enroll their kids in what can be a pricey sport. "They want to give their kids opportunities to fully participate in Canadian life that they didn't have," Szto notes.

Until recently, however, South Asian parents didn't necessarily support trying to make a career out of the game. As new immigrants, they sought financial security first and foremost and therefore tended to push their children into fields where the odds of success were not quite so minuscule. In the 2011 Rob Lowe movie Breakaway—the ice-hockey equivalent of Bend It Like Beckham—a stern Sikh-Canadian dad orders his talented son to give up the sport and take over the family trucking business.

But these attitudes are changing among first- and second-generation South Asian immigrants. And that's fortuitous, because otherwise the sport may well have a dim future in a country whose "visible minority" population—which already makes up about a fifth of the country—is growing by 25 percent annually, while the general population is growing at only 4 percent.

The NHL understands this, which is why it launched "Hockey Is for Everyone," an outreach effort aimed at recruiting minorities all over North America. Singh is the campaign's official ambassador. But his show has likely done more to knock down cultural barriers and make the sport accessible to South Asians than any public campaign.

The first present the 34-year-old Singh got from a cousin after birth was a set of Edmonton Oilers mini hockey sticks.

His parents had emigrated from India in 1966 and became teachers in Brooks, Alberta, a predominantly white town with a population of 3,000 two hours southeast of Calgary. They are devout Sikhs and devout hockey fans, two passions they imparted to him. His sisters were already crazy for the game when he was born. Wayne Gretzky, the world's greatest hockey player, wasn't just a hero in the Singh household. He was a veritable god. As a kid, Harnarayan insisted his family celebrate their hero's birthday—January 26—by making prasad, a traditional Indian sweet used for religious ceremonies.

Observant Sikhs, who believe in the natural perfection of God's creation, don't allow scissors to touch their hair. The men let their beards flow and wrap the long locks on their heads in tightly pleated turbans. Confused with Muslims, they have sometimes faced bigoted attacks, especially after 9/11.

But if Singh's family's Sikh heritage put him at odds with his peers growing up, his hockey-loving heritage created a bond. He says he realized at a young age that one way to get his school friends to overlook his outward weirdness was by talking hockey. And boy, could he talk hockey!

Much to the dismay of his father, a math Ph.D., Singh's calculus skills were subpar. But his hockey knowledge was encyclopedic. By the time he was in fourth grade, he was taping mock shows on a cassette recorder in his bedroom. He experienced his share of harassment and bullying. But soon, "I became known around school as this hockey-obsessed individual," he recalled in an interview with The Players' Tribune. "That allowed me to make friends within different cliques that may not have otherwise accepted me."

Given his gift of gab and love for hockey, it made sense that he dreamed of a career in sports broadcasting. But for a brown-skinned, hirsute kid with a man-bun knotted on the top of his head, this seemed more than a little far-fetched.

Still, in 2004, Singh enrolled in broadcasting school in Calgary's Mount Royal University. He later became a full-time scriptwriter on The Sports Network (TSN)But he wanted to be on air, and that was going to be a hard sell on TSN in the early 2000s. So he quit and returned to Calgary, becoming a local general assignment reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)which had a commitment to diversity. There, he made it a point to talk hockey with Kelly Hrudey, an analyst on the regular English edition of Hockey Night in Canada, every time he ran into him.

This proved a savvy move.

In 2008, CBC decided to roll out versions of Hockey Night in Canada in Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, and Inuktitut (an Inuit language) in an effort to boost its flagging viewership. The Punjabi version was the only one that panned out. And that's at least partly because of Singh.

Hrudey's colleague on the show, Marc Crawford, a former coach of the Vancouver Canucks, was particularly interested in launching a Punjabi edition. He had found that Punjabis in the greater Vancouver area frequently recognized him, and greeted him enthusiastically, at gas stations and grocery stores. He had also seen Punjabi kids playing ball hockey in the streets of Surrey, a Vancouver suburb dominated by South Asians. He concluded that the community had a passion for the sport.

When the Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup championship in 2011, Punjabis held mass prayer vigils for their victory and posted bhangra dance tributes on YouTube. "Their enthusiasm was unmatched," Crawford told The New York Times in 2013"It was as though the one thing they really latched on to in the new country was the Canucks."

When the idea for a show to serve the community was born, Hrudey recommended Singh for the job of anchor. Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi Edition made its debut in 2008 with a play-by-play of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup finals.

Singh faced a problem during the regular season, however: The show, which aired every Saturday, was filmed in Toronto. He was in no position to give up his full-time gig in Calgary and move there for a part-time one. Yet he did not want to pass up an opportunity to talk hockey on air. So every Friday after work for four years, Singh flew into Toronto from Calgary. He taped two shows on Saturday evening, stumbled back to Toronto's Pearson airport, slept for a few hours on chairs joined into a cot, hopped a redeye home, and arrived just in time for Sunday services at the local gurudawara (Sikh place of worship) that he had attended since he was little.

He didn't breathe a word of this to his bosses on the show, he now says. He didn't want them to worry he wouldn't show up and give the job to some other Sikh dreamer—of whom, of course, there were plenty. He sprang for all his own travel costs.

Singh could have eased the pressure a bit by skipping Sunday services, but his faith was too important to him. Plus, he had a superstitious fear that if he let his career take precedence, his good luck would run out.

The show was an instant hit with South Asians despite its mediocre production values and shoestring budget. Punjabi is the third most widely spoken language in Canada after English and French. (Half a million people in the country name Punjabi as their first language, with plenty of South Asians speaking it as their second language and plenty more who can understand it.) But the genius of the show—something that those not from North India can't fully appreciate—is the particular kind of Punjabi that Singh and his fellow hosts chose to speak. It isn't the mongrelized, part English, part Hindi or Urdu patois of urbanized Punjabis. It's the authentic and evocative vernacular of the Punjabi heartland. Singh's show deploys it in a way that is irreverent but not disrespectful, plain-speaking but not hurtful, freewheeling but not coarse.

Punjabis are like the Italians of India. The show conveys the exuberant, hard-living, hard-loving spirit that appeals to Punjabis of all stripes, the rustic as well as the more sophisticated professional variety—the latter even more than the former, perhaps, because they have a deep nostalgia for the "real" Punjabi they remember hearing their grandparents speak. But even many South Asians who don't fully understand the language find the sight of a turbaned Sikh announcer on air in Canada thrilling and inspiring.

The problem with using only pure Punjabi was that the language does not have a vocabulary for hockey terms. So the crew had to invent one. A hockey puck became a tikki—a fried potato pancake. A slapshot was dubbed a chappede shot, hilarious Punjabi slang for smacking someone across the face. All of this tickles Indian viewers, which is precisely the intention. But the more important consequences of such linguistic creativity were unintended.

The new lingo demystified the game for older Punjabis who didn't speak English. Suddenly, grandmas in oily braids and salwars (traditional Indian outfits) were chatting about favored teams and favorite players with their grandkids. Seven decades ago, when Hockey Night went on TV, Canadian families structured their Saturdays around watching the show together. Now, many Indo-Canadian families are doing the same. Singh says he's had countless old Punjabis tearfully thank him for providing a bonding experience with their grandchildren that they never imagined they could have.

The show really hit its stride when Rogers Media, owner of Canada's Sportsnet One channel, bought the rights for Hockey Night from the NHL in 2013 and put the Punjabi version on Omni Television, a basic cable channel. The CBC is a nonprofit that aims to serve "everyone." In reality, that means treating niche programs without broad appeal like tokens whose main purpose is virtue signaling a commitment to diversity. Despite the Punjabi show's popularity, CBC had canceled it more than once, only to bring it back after a massive outcry from South Asian viewers.

But as a private, for-profit enterprise, Rogers Media invested resources in Hockey Night Punjabi because it could get customers and advertisers to pay for it. The company has expanded the show's crew to seven and housed them in a snazzy studio, allowing them to shoot in high definition and to produce full-spectrum programming that includes pre- and postgame analysis in addition to the usual Saturday night double-header play-by-plays. Singh is now able to make a full-time job out of hosting the program.

The show is constantly innovating, creating segments such as "Meri Gal Sun" ("listen to me")—a refrain Punjabi parents use before unloading on recalcitrant kids—that gives underperforming players and teams advice in a no-holds-barred Punjabi style. One episode last year advised star Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard to have his bags packed to bolt at the end of the season because his team just wasn't good enough for him. Howard didn't listen (maybe because he doesn't understand Punjabi!).

Operating in a privately funded niche market, observes Szto, has allowed the show to challenge traditional Canadian broadcasting norms that very much reflect the high-WASP taste of the original public-station audience. Where Canadians tend to be reserved, urbane, stoic, Punjabis are earthy, blingy, raucous. Because many of Hockey Night Punjabi's viewers didn't grow up watching hockey, they have to be enticed by "adding masala"—spice mix—as Singh puts it. And the ingredients of this masala? As the Vancouver Sun's Gordon McIntyre once wrote, the program is part international soccer, part Bollywood, with "a pinch of [World Wrestling Entertainment] and a generous dose of infectious enthusiasm."

The closest thing to it in mainstream hockey is Don Cherry, the legendary hockey broadcaster who co-hosts the "Coach's Corner" segment on the original Hockey Night. He's a conservative who has made a name for himself as the funny and lovable Archie Bunker of hockey—irreverent, politically incorrect, and a tad pompous. But that shtick, which never quite worked with South Asians, had begun to lose its charm with regular Canadians even before Cherry got himself fired for questioning the patriotism of immigrants on air last fall. Hockey Night Punjabi's down-to-earth approach, where sportscasters talk to rather than at viewers, is much more attuned to the new cultural sensibilities, Szto notes. Sometimes non-Punjabi speakers tune in to the Punjabi show, either because certain games are only airing there or because they don't care for the personalities on the regular network.

As of December 2017, the program averaged 209,000 viewers, according to Szto. Compared to the 1.46 million viewers that the regular English edition of Hockey Night commands, this may seem low. But that 1.46 million figure represents a massive fall from the 5 million viewers the show enjoyed at its peak in the 1960s. A higher percentage of Punjabi speakers watch their version than English-speaking Canadians watch the original. Although Omni does not offer official ratings, Szto says the viewership is growing rapidly.

The moment that catapulted Hockey Night Punjabi out of its ethnic enclave came in the first game of the 2016 Stanley Cup finals, after the Pittsburgh Penguins' Nick Bonino scored the winning goal. Singh went wild, shouting the player's name 11 times in rapid succession and ending with a long drawn out "Nick Boninoooooooooooo" that outlasted the buzzer. The call went viral and has come to be regarded as one of the all-time great hockey moments. Corporate sponsorships started pouring in after that.

When the Penguins won the Cup that year, Singh and his colleagues were treated like rock stars, just like the players themselves. During the victory parade in Pittsburgh, he was warmly invited onstage to repeat the Bonino call in front of adoring fans. So overwhelmed were they by the love and attention, the Hockey Night Punjabi crew later wrote an emotional thank-you letter to the team. "The truth is, the members of our community living in the United States have faced very difficult challenges due to their identity," it said. "Our visit was the polar opposite of the experience many have had and this has filled our community with hope and optimism."

Life hasn't been the same for the show since. The following year, during the festivities surrounding the NHL All-Star Game, Singh and his crew were sitting in their booth at a J.W. Marriott in Los Angeles, munching a mushroom pizza. A man came over to introduce himself. He and his sons were huge fans of their work, he said. The man was Wayne Gretzky.

"Right now," Singh says, "it is tough to find any hockey fan in Canada who doesn't know of our show." But Hockey Night Punjabi hasn't only grown the audience for the game in its community. It has grown the game too.

David Sax, a Canadian journalist, wrote in The New York Times in 2013 that in the four years since its inception, the program had paid major dividends in terms of recruitment. In big cities dominated by South Asians and other "visible minorities," it was prompting parents to sign up their kids to learn the sport. Brampton Hockey, a junior league in a town north of Toronto, had seen about a 20 percent increase in participation among South Asians over two years, Sax reported.

That trend has only accelerated. Some 60 to 80 percent of the players in the Surrey Minor Hockey Association, a British Columbian kids league, are Punjabis, notes Dampy Brar, a co-founder of the 2-year-old APNA Hockey, a hockey school with branches in Calgary and Edmonton. The organization's explicit aim is to nurture talent in the South Asian community. Although the school welcomes everyone, says Brar—a clean-shaven Sikh who played professionally for the now-defunct West Coast Hockey League—its main purpose is to offer a comfortable space to Indo-Canadians who don't feel their kids would fit in at the overpriced hockey academies that upper-crust "old stock" Canadians patronize and that have traditionally served as a pipeline to the professional leagues.

APNA Hockey makes it a point to have South Asian pros with a shared cultural background mentor the kids, in order to give them the sense that the highest levels of the sport are not beyond their reach. Some folks are concerned that separate schools smack of incipient segregation. The better way to think about it, though, is that the community is finding its own way to overcome systemic barriers and access a mainstream institution (professional hockey) without the need for legal interventions or special pleading.

Incidentally, although it is not impossible for practicing Sikh hockey players to stuff their long hair under a helmet, many in fact do end up shearing it to save themselves the hassle—another example of how immigrants, over time, trade old attachments for new ways in order to fully seize the opportunities in their adopted land.

To date, three Punjabi players have made it to the NHL: Jujhar Khaira, who currently plays for the Edmonton Oilers, and Robin Bawa and Manny Malhotra, both now retired. But given the growing South Asian presence at the grassroots, Singh and Brar agree it's only a matter of time before South Asians break into the NHL in a big way, injecting new blood into the sport. There are already a fair number of players in the junior leagues. For example, in 2014 there were three Punjabi players on the Everett Silvertips, a Western Hockey League team, all hoping to get drafted by the NHL. Among them was Khaira, who succeeded.

It's also totally within the realm of possibility that Singh—not despite his Punjabi sensibility but because of it—will one day make it to the television big leagues and co-host the English edition of Hockey Night, joining greats like Ron MacLean and Jim Hughson. He already appears on the show regularly as a guest commentator. And he's been calling games for the Sportsnet channel in English—which he of course speaks with a perfect Canadian accent. (For those versed in both languages, listening to Singh switch from Punjabi to Canadian English is like hearing an Appalachian switch from a hillbilly drawl to flawless French.)

In fact, notes Szto, Canadian hockey fans would sooner embrace someone exotic-looking who knows and passionately loves the game than a white dude like George Stroumboulopoulos, whom Rogers Media tried as a co-host of Hockey Night with disastrous results. Although he was a major media personality who'd earned a name for himself VJing for the MuchMusic channel and serving as a CBC talk show host, Stroumboulopoulos didn't have a solid hockey background. Ratings took a nosedive as unimpressed fans tuned out, and he was ousted from the show after less than two years. After Cherry got the boot, some hockey fans suggested replacing him with Singh.

Perhaps racism in hockey is only skin-deep. Fans take the game too seriously to really care whether sportscasters shave their faces or wrap turbans around their heads. What matters is the quality of the play and of the commentary.

The fact that a Sikh could be the man for the job is testimony to the assimilative capacity of immigrants, who aren't nearly the threat to native culture that restrictionists make them out to be. Of course they're nostalgic for the things they leave behind. But they're also eager to explore and embrace the new things their adopted homes offer. And when they do so, they strengthen—not tear apart—a country's cultural fabric. They weave new strands into it, creating a far richer and more durable tapestry.

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  1. Singh went wild, shouting the player’s name 11 times in rapid succession and ending with a long drawn out “Nick Boninoooooooooooo” that outlasted the buzzer.

    <a href="https://youtu.be/nDuol2xWzCc?t=59Go Pens.

    Personally, I find that this level of assimilation borders on appropriation.

  2. No way could I possibly read an article of this length authored by Schecky. I’m with Don Cherry on this one.

    1. Lol.
      That’s where I’m at.
      Was going to give it a go, but the combination of author and length can’t lead to anything worthwhile

      1. As someone who read basically the entire thing, you made the right choice. While this was stupid, it wasn’t comically stupid enough to justify the time

      2. Short version. Shikha loves canadas immigration laws because she is too ignorant to realize they have a merit based and sale based system. But since they have a slightly higher per capita rate she wants it. I say let’s lower the US diversity quota to make Shikhas dream come true.

        1. +1, Canada uses a much more restrictive merit based system that tends to make immigrants less of a drain on the public welfare and higher contributors to taxes. She also implicitly conflates legal and illegal immigration.

          1. Because of Canada’s immigration policies, South Asians tend to come from skilled professions and are among the country’s better earners.

            These are not the people who make a shithole a shithole. Not criminals or rapists or parasites on society. We should welcome them as well.

            And send the Shikha’s back.

        2. Merit based immigration?
          Crazy talk!

    2. The silent majority have no problem with Cherry. Everyone knows Cherry and after 30 years knew what to expect which makes his firing all the more preposterous and full of shit.

      Of all things he has said over the years, that was the least controversial (and has said that many times over and over). And he has also criticized ALL Canadians – native or otherwise for what he perceives to be a growing lack of respect for the armed forces on Remembrance Day.

      1. Wait, what?? They fired Don Cherry??? And they’re wondering why people aren’t watching Hockey Night in Canada anymore?

        BTW, Shikha, you forgot to say “P.K. Subban (He’s no Bobby Orr)”.

    3. Holy crap this is not a news article, or an opinion piece, its a damn Tolkien novel! This piece (or diatribe) is an incoherent swinging on the pendulum of racism and hockey. also as a side note I think its hilarious that the writer who is trying to draw attention to racism against South Asians in Canada deems it necessary to call the Punjab district in India a shithole for literally no reason. Because even when talking about Canada’s immigration and racism problems you still gotta find a way to blame Trump

  3. “It’s hard to conclusively say whether racism is worse in ice hockey than in football or basketball, where racial and ethnic minorities have a larger presence. But in the NHL, only about 25 out of some 700 total players are black, and only four are of Asian descent. The league is 93 percent white.”

    Point 1)

    By “diversity”, is Dalmia only referring to Asians and people of African ancestry?

    What about native Russians, Finns, and Swedes? When Russian players first come to the NHL (and don’t even speak English), are they just like other Caucasian players because they’re “white”? What about players of First Nations ancestry? Does she imagine First Nations are all the same? What about the Metis? Don’t they have a distinct culture of their own?

    “Lack of diversity doesn’t necessarily stem from racism, but it can offer fertile soil for it.”

    Point 2)

    The primary reason why there are so many African-Americans in professional sports in the U.S. is ultimately racism. In sports, success is far more dependent on ability and objective criteria.

    At last year’s combine, Montez Sweat ran a 4.4 40 yard dash, and he’s 6’6″ and weighed 260 lbs. It was the fastest time by any lineman in 15 years. The race of other lineman is beside the point. The fact is that OTBE, Sweat can get to the QB faster than other defensive linemen. When the criteria is strictly by performance, like that, race becomes irrelevant.

    If you can consistently throw a fast ball that catches the outside corner of the plate, baseball teams want to hire you. If you can bat .340 on a consistent basis and play shortstop, you can get a job in baseball–and no one doing the hiring cares about your race. If you can throw a football down the field consistently and not throw interceptions, the NFL wants you. The more success in a profession depends on ability and objective criteria, the less impact racism can have.

    That isn’t the way it is in a lot of office jobs–not when they’re hiring inexperienced people, certainly. Differentiating one potential employee from another often entails qualitative criteria. When you’re hiring trainees without job experience, who’s to say it isn’t about race? If Montez Sweat shows all kinds of objective stats that are better than others, and can’t get a job in the NFL, that’s about racism. If the white sales trainee connected with his interviewer better than the black guy, by what criteria can anybody say that’s necessarily about racism?

    The reason African-Americans represent such a large proportion of the NFL and elsewhere in American professional sports is because African-Americans gravitate towards opportunities where they won’t be discriminated against because of their race. If you can sing like Aretha Franklin or put down a groove like Dr. Dre, the music industry won’t discriminate against you because of your race. Street gangs and drug buyers also don’t discriminate on the basis of race.

    Likewise, African-Americans may seek to avoid professions where they’re more likely to be subject to racial discrimination–in industries where the criteria for getting hired and the criteria for getting promoted is far more qualitative and less objective.

    All this is to say, if you’re looking for an indication that a society is racist, you might look at over participation in professional sports by a minority group that has traditionally been subject to discrimination. African-Americans represent about 12% of U.S. population. If about 70% of NFL players are African-American, that may be about as much of an indication that American society outside the NFL is racist as it is that the NFL isn’t racist. Conversely, if there are relatively few players in the NHL of African ancestry from Canada relative to their proportion of the Canadian population, that may indicate that people of African ancestry are suffering less discrimination in Canada than they are in the United States–and they’re getting plenty more opportunities outside of sports.

    1. P.S. Another reason the NHL is disproportionately caucasian is because in order to be good at hockey, you need to have played hockey as a kid. The countries where people play hockey as a kid tend to be in areas where ponds freeze over or where operating ice rinks is profitable because a lot of people in the local population know how to skate. Using that kind of criteria, your players are going to come from places like Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, North Dakota, Russia, and Sweden–places where there are few people of African ancestry.

      https://thehockeynews.com/news/article/where-in-the-world-do-nhl-players-come-from

      By my count, 170 NHL players come from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, or Sweden, and if few of those players are of African ancestry, it probably isn’t because the NHL is racist. It’s probably because there are few people of African ancestry in those countries.

      1. People of melatonin from the tropics or Africa are special little enclaves of noble savagery and their entry into Western territory is to be celebrated by all others like the low-expecting bigots we’ve been forced to emulate since the 90’s.

        All other heritages including Nordic, soviet-bloc and Eastern euro are wah-hite oppressors, all the same and interchangeable.

        Get it straight!

      2. Blacks – just as an fyi – represent about 3% of Canada’s population.

        All they need to do is get one player on the national roster. And we’ve been seeing it on a more consistent basis. The game winning goal yesterday was by Akil Thomas:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akil_Thomas

        I really hate that people obsess over the ‘racial make up’ of things. I never cared but here we are brining it up.

        Back in the day, there was a Quebec nationalist writer who would single out the medals won by Quebecers for Canada the Olympics.

        I get why they do it but it all feels so….parochial.

    2. Or one could argue that NFL black participation rate shows society is racist because blacks have fewer ways to advance in a racist society and have to settle for sports, which are far more a meritocracy than society as a whole.

      Myself, I would argue that government is what fucks up society, with all its quotas and affirmative action and laws. Just as minimum wages and other laws that make it hard to fire someone for cause also make employers more reluctant to hire anyone who could be hard to fire, and laws making it hard to evict people make landlords much more choosy about who they rent to, I believe the ease with which businesses can be accused of racism, and the expense of defending themselves and the likelihood of being found guilty, all contribute to making a more racist society.

      None of this was unexpected. Plenty of people did predict it, and continue to say so. But statists love to virtue signal.

      1. “Or one could argue that NFL black participation rate shows society is racist because blacks have fewer ways to advance in a racist society and have to settle for sports, which are far more a meritocracy than society as a whole.”

        That’s basically what I argued.

        I should point one aspect of this, which is that the more of a meritocracy we have, the less racist society is and the more opportunities there are for minorities who have been discriminated against historically.

        In labor unions, people are promoted because of their seniority rather than merit.

        When working for the government, people are hired and promoted based on certifications and seniority rather than merit.

        In jobs that are governed by licensing requirements, workers are successful based on licensing rather than merit.

        If minorities thrive in meritocracy and suffering in its absence, then systems governed by labor unions, government employment, and licensing requirements are fundamentally racist.

        1. I was trying to stress the government’s role in making and maintaining a racist classist bigoted society — anything but a meritocracy.

          1. Well, yeah, but you’re an idiot.

    3. What about native Russians, Finns, and Swedes? When Russian players first come to the NHL (and don’t even speak English), are they just like other Caucasian players because they’re “white”? What about players of First Nations ancestry? Does she imagine First Nations are all the same? What about the Metis? Don’t they have a distinct culture of their own?

      Bone up on your critical theory and classical Marxist class-based social critique and it’ll come into focus. There are only two groups: the oppressors and the oppressed. Everything else is incidental. For practical purposes, since Marxist class struggle must overthrow traditional power structures, white skin = oppressor and any other color of skin = oppressed.

      1. ^this
        It’s exhausting!

    4. Likewise, African-Americans may seek to avoid professions where they’re more likely to be subject to racial discrimination–in industries where the criteria for getting hired and the criteria for getting promoted is far more qualitative and less objective.

      Yeah, the reason why a racial group with an average IQ of 85 aren’t graduating at the top of medical, law and business school classes and instead mainline steroids and smash the fuck out of each other for the bloodthirsty amusement of flyover country yokels is totally because the American Medical Association and the Bar Association are racist and the NFL isn’t.

      Christ you’re fucking stupid.

      1. Why talk about the AMA and the ABA?

        https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpsee_e16.htm

        The unemployment rate for black teens is typically double that of white teens. Those jobs are entry-level and minimum wage–they don’t require much of an IQ. The difference between the unemployment rate for white teens and black teens has been close to double that way for as long as they’ve been tracking these statistics. The difference between the rates only varies in that during recessions the difference expands, with the black unemployment rate going up much higher than the white unemployment rate.

        That isn’t Marxist. It’s just true.

        In fact, this has been one of the primary arguments against the minimum wage since we libertarians started calling ourselves that. By placing an artificial minimum on wages, it draws white kids into the job market who would stay home and do nothing otherwise. This gives minimum wage employers more applicants than they would be able to choose from without the minimum wage. It creates a labor surplus. And as the data shows, those employers choose white unskilled burger flippers over black burger flippers.

        If differences in IQ were the explanation, there wouldn’t be such a difference between unskilled and uneducated workers of different races–when IQ really doesn’t matter.

        And that remains true regardless of whether I’m fucking stupid.

        1. Why talk about the AMA and the ABA?

          Since you were pontificating about the job prospects of professional athletes whose incomes are in the fractions of the hundredths of the top 1% it seemed kind of silly to compare them to high school dropout burger flippers in the inner city. But since you brought it up, maybe the fact that black men between the ages of 16 and 35 commit about 40% of all violent crime in this entire country and also commit property crimes at a rate about double any other ethnic group has something to do with the job prospects of black high school students/dropouts. While you’re at it, maybe you can also explain how privileged white kids who overwhelmingly live in different zip codes are taking jobs in the low income inner city shit holes where the majority of the black community lives and stealing away all the jobs. I guess little 16 year old Alistair Thompson III at the Hotchkiss School is commuting out to Newark 20 hours a week to stock shelves at Pajeet’s Gas-N-Go just for the sheer pleasure of denying Jamal Smith the $7.35 an hour. And once that’s out of the way, then we can discuss how hilariously retarded it is that you blame an oversaturation of white high school kids for black employment but speak with complete assurance about how illegal immigrant black market labor is vital to sustaining a roaring economy and job growth. LMAO

          1. “Since you were pontificating about the job prospects of professional athletes whose incomes are in the fractions of the hundredths of the top 1% it seemed kind of silly to compare them to high school dropout burger flippers in the inner city”

            I wasn’t comparing their incomes.

            I was contrasting a meritocracy to . . .

            Are you Tulpa? Because that would explain a lot.

            1. He has a really good point – when minimum wages increase or the economy contracts, what does the employment prospects of illegal immigrants look like? Paid under the table, employers aren’t needing to pay minimum wage increases and it’s far more likely that young blacks and low skill immigrants have the same job pool.

              It also does more to explain the animosity between blacks and hispanics (they don’t like eachother) and why black employment is currently up in a hostile illegal alien administration.

              1. IQ isn’t a factor in jobs that don’t require much in the way of skills or education, and the proportion of unskilled whites to unskilled blacks remains more or less the same across decades–with blacks typically having an unemployment rate twice that of whites.

                The last batch of stats I saw showed the unemployment rates for teenagers graphed going back to 1973, and the difference between them, with the unemployment rate for blacks being double that for whites, has always been about the same. I hope you’re getting the point that the uneducated and unskilled workers are more or less undifferentiated. Minimum wage workers are a commodity product who can only compete on price. How many recessions have we had since 1973? Meanwhile, the huge disparity in unemployment rates persists even when we’re not in recession.

                A gallon of 2% milk is a gallon of 2% milk, and someone working a minimum wage job without skills is pretty much the same across the board regardless of IQ. I worked the grill at Wendy’s when I was 16 for a while. I trained the guy that was replacing me when I left. He had a developmental disability. He did a great job. This guy suggested that the reason blacks don’t find as many opportunities is because of their lQ. Regardless of whether blacks have lower IQs, the fact is that is that blacks suffer higher unemployment rates–even when their skill levels are undifferentiated from those of people with developmental disabilities.

                Oh, and what’s the point of trying to prove that blacks don’t suffer from discrimination anyway? Why is that important? Picking an assumption, say, that American managers aren’t racist, and then interpreting the data so as to support that is intellectually dishonest. Reading the data for what it is–there’s a persistent historical disparity between the unemployment rates of undifferentiated whites and blacks, is reading the data off of the page. It is what it is–whether we like the facts or not.

                1. It’s also intellectually dishonest to assume its racial animosity and that other factors beyond skill come into play – like following instructions, working hard, showing up, following the rules, and not feeling entitled.

                  I had to recommend firing a guy because he thought I (his trainer) was treating him like a slave and he wouldn’t do Jack shit because he wasn’t going to take instruction from a white girl. I was trying to teach him the fricken ass job.

                  I know that is not a unique experience, and maybe, after all the years of pandering and AA, maybe you should consider that just because the law should treat people on equal footing, people are not, in fact, equal.

                  1. “It’s also intellectually dishonest to assume its racial animosity and that other factors beyond skill come into play – like following instructions, working hard, showing up, following the rules, and not feeling entitled.”

                    Actually, seeing that there is a persistent difference in the unemployment rates between races, when race is the only significant difference between those groups, indicates that there’s a difference between these groups, and it’s about race.

                    1) Even if not following instructions, not working hard, not showing up, not following the rules, and not feeling entitled could somehow be correlated to race, you’re still talking about hiring managers discriminating against black individuals on the basis of race. If you’re one of these people who imagines your racism is justified because you’re racist assumptions about individuals are accurate and true, I’m here to tell you–just because you believe that blacks really are inferior to whites in reality, that doesn’t mean you’re not really a racist. Making assumptions about people based on their race is what we’re talking about when we talk about racism–regardless of whether you think those assumptions are appropriate.

                    2) The statistics I’m talking about are for teens from 16-19 years old. Look at the link I gave you:

                    https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpsee_e16.htm

                    11.2% of whites from 16 to 19 years-old were seeking employment but were unemployed in the third quarter of 2018. The unemployment rate for 16 to 19 year-old blacks in the third quarter of 2018 was 20.8%. This disparity is more or less consistent going back through the 1970s.

                    Meanwhile, 16 to 19 year old kids are generally applying for jobs that require no prior experience. There is no way to know that an individual with no prior job and no prior experience has problems “following instructions, working hard, showing up, following the rules, and not feeling entitled”–before anyone has him. Again, my argument is that hiring managers are making assumptions about these people based on race. You must willfully disregard the facts in order to assume the disparity is unrelated to race. When the only real difference is race and the difference persists across recessions and over decades, it is not intellectually dishonest to think the disparity is race related.

                  2. “I had to recommend firing a guy because he thought I (his trainer) was treating him like a slave and he wouldn’t do Jack shit because he wasn’t going to take instruction from a white girl. I was trying to teach him the fricken ass job.

                    I know that is not a unique experience, and maybe, after all the years of pandering and AA, maybe you should consider that just because the law should treat people on equal footing, people are not, in fact, equal.”

                    Making assumptions about individuals on the basis of their race is what we’re talking about when we talk about racism, and if hiring managers think assumptions based on race are justified, that doesn’t mean they aren’t racists. It necessarily means they are racists.

                    1. When you bring up statistics, you are not talking about individuals. You don’t know the individual factors that went into not hiring that amorphous statistic. We, not being the decision makers (both employers and employees) that make that stat possible can only guess at what the factors were.

                      But we can look at a whole variety of other statistics (because that is what this is – a statistic, not individuals) and see that the cultures that white and black teens come from are completely different. Look at schools, middle schools, high schools, demographics, and detention rates (which reflects culture, not IQ [at least not directly]).

                      I like a lot of what you say, so I’m surprised at how bigoted you are towards people exercising free association and making their own choices where you have no fucking idea what is in their heads or even who they are.

                    2. The most important statistic is: 75% of white kids have 2-parent homes, but only 25% of black kids do. Most kids take after their parents and take their direction. When the single parent is always away at work the kids are free to roam the streets. You can lay the destruction of the black family squarely at the door of the Donkeys.

                    3. “When you bring up statistics, you are not talking about individuals. You don’t know the individual factors that went into not hiring that amorphous statistic.”

                      The claim was made that blacks gravitate towards professions that are more based on meritocracy and tend to avoid professions where hiring and promotion are based on more subjective criteria.

                      This was countered by the argument that it’s actually because black IQs are lower than average.

                      So, we looked at the unemployment rate of 16-19 year olds, who are expected to have few if any skills and little or no prior experience in the workforce, and who are apply for jobs in which IQ is a non-issue, and we found that even there, the unemployment rate for blacks is typically twice that of whites–and it’s been that way going back through the early 1970s.

                      Whether you consider them as a group or whether you consider that each of those individual African-Americans were interviewed and rejected one at a time, the conclusion is the same. If blacks prefer situations that are less subjective and hence the hiring decisions are more subject to racism, it may well be because hiring managers are in fact racist.

                      And if that is what it is, then there is no good reason to pretend otherwise. Pointing out the facts isn’t Marxist, but lying about reality in order to push an agenda is. The solution to people using racism to push for Marxist solutions isn’t to pretend that racism doesn’t exist. The solution to Marxist solutions is being honest about the nature of the problem and pushing libertarian and capitalist solutions instead.

                      In this thread, I’ve argued that the minimum wage, labor unions, and government employment are fundamentally racist. It’s a natural conclusion that arises from these statistics, and points towards the fact that a system that promotes meritocracy is the least racist system of all. Arguing that racism doesn’t really exist among hiring managers, in this context, is objectively pro-Marxist, but that’s not the worst of it. It’s also intellectually dishonest in a very Marxist way.

                2. “IQ isn’t a factor in jobs that don’t require much in the way of skills or education”

                  ladies and gentlemen, and idiot said this.

                  1. If people with IQs that average 85 can flip burgers as well as people with IQs that average 100, yes, that necessarily means that IQ isn’t much of a factor in a job when the job doesn’t require much in the way of skills or education. If you want to make useful contributions to these sorts of discussions, you need to work on your critical thinking skills–regardless of whether I’m an idiot.

                    1. First of all, no skill jobs are jobs that require no skills for ENTRY. By the time they leave the job, they should have SOME skills and qualify for mid or low skill jobs that will then output employees with higher skills.

                      Second of all, IQ does affect our understanding of cause and effect and to evaluate our surroundings and situations. Someone with a higher IQ is going to solve a workplace crisis faster than someone with lower IQ. It also affects how quickly we learn on the job (or from interviews where we fail to get jobs).

                      I personally have so little sympathy for this. I had a ridiculous time getting hired as a teen in the very early 00s. The job I managed to get was after 2 years of trying and they were desperate and I was friends with people already working there. People’s reasons for not hiring someone is their own.

              2. “the animosity between blacks and hispanics (they don’t like eachother)”

                No, they really don’t.
                You’d be shocked at some of the things Guatemalans, for instance, say about blacks.
                It’s awkward

            2. “Are you Tulpa? Because that would explain a lot.”

              You mean him kicking you around like a fucking dog?

              1. Tulpa is known for three things: straw men, running around with the goal posts, and being willfully obtuse.

                If you’re not Tulpa, then you may be the first person here who’s ever suggested that Tulpa is known for winning arguments.

                1. Except the comment you asked that didn’t employ those. Instead, you dismissed based on an assumption of where the argument originated.

  4. Fantastic piece. This is why Shikha Dalmia is the greatest living libertarian writer. And why Reason.com is the leading journal of billionaire-funded open borders advocacy.

    I mean, how can anyone argue with this ironclad logic? If Indian immigrants are saving Canadian hockey, it necessarily follows that the United States should implement the immigration agenda of Reason’s billionaire benefactor Charles Koch.

    #OpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll
    #BillionairesKnowBest

    1. I agree, it was a good piece. I enjoyed it.

      1. Hey, Chipper Morning Wood the radical left wing Marxist enjoyed a piece written by a radical left wing Marxist. That’s odd.

        1. Fuck off, Tulpa. And take your meds.

          1. Lol. It’s a testament to how unbelievably fucking stupid you are that you can’t tell the difference between me, who changes handles on the daily and has a completely different writing style, from Tulpa, who uses the same set of handles and a different set of writing tics.

            It’s not like there’s any shortage of people who hate your guts and will celebrate when you die. Now go dilate.

            1. To be fair, you think that SQRLSY is Hihn, so you’re really not qualified to criticize anyone’s reading comprehension.

              1. aww you’re still upset because I made fun of you.

                and it is Hihn. he admitted it.

                so, yeah, you look really fucking dumb again

  5. The fact that a Sikh could be the man for the job is testimony to the assimilative capacity of immigrants, who aren’t nearly the threat to native culture that restrictionists make them out to be.

    Well, maybe it’s a testament to the assimilative capacity of Sikh immigrants, anyway. But I’d suggest that if your religion requires that you carry a weapon at all times in order to defend yourself and others, you’re already halfway to being an American.

    1. Gotta admit, they can play some Sikh hockey.

      1. Clean out your locker at the club, because you’re fired.

  6. Some really bad news for Welchie Boy and all his P.F.L. minions: your democratic party candidates all still absolutely suck, just like they did yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.

    And it’s almost too late now for a good candidate to jump in and bail you lefties out.

    1. Except for Russian stooge Tulsi Gabbard, all the 2020 Democratic hopefuls are far better choices than Orange Hitler. That’s why this year’s #BlueWave will be even bigger than 2018’s.

      #VoteBlueNoMatterWho
      #(UnlessItsTulsi)

  7. Oh, one more thing: tomorrow is when the giant vortex of shit known as Washington D.C. finally starts to get back to “work”. So if Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and the rest of the scumbag democrats in the House don’t formally send their stupid-ass impeachment to the senate in the next few days, they’re never going to and there won’t even be a “trial”.

    1. Well, maybe House Democrats are just waiting to add more reasons to impeach Drumpf. After all, he did just literally start World War 3 to distract from his previous impeachable offenses.

      Pelosi is in control. She knows exactly what she’s doing.

      #LibertariansForPelosi

      1. Your ilk now have no redeeming qualities. It used to be you at least half-heartedly mumbled paeans to non-interventionism. But now that your object of worship went all neocon, as he was bound to do, that’s a distant memory.

        1. “Your ilk now have no redeeming qualities”

          What eunuch should be saying to himself every morning when he uselessly wakes, and every evening when he goes to sleep having again failed to have the balls to kill himself

        2. LMAO. It’s fun watching you seethe about neoconservatism at a parody account. Particularly after you just spent months regurgitating your Democratic Underground talking points about Trump’s shameful abandonment of our Kurdish allies in the nearly decade old Syrian civil war that you full-throatedly supported when your chocolate messiah was in the white house.

          Have you ever considered maybe killing yourself?

  8. So to SAVE hockey… the immigrants are being LESS foreign-y and being MORE Canadian. So… their culture is holding them back, but adopting the culture of their new home is the gateway to success? Even the attachment to Punjabi culture is simply a means by which to bring more Punjabs away from their enclave and into greater Canadian life rather than a means to strengthen or solidify Punjab as something worth preserving unadulterated.

    Interesting how as assimilation increases, so does acceptance among the new home population. It is almost as if cultural behaviors play an outsized role in inter-personal relationships than race does over time.

    Also… Shikha sure loves her racial and ethnic stereotypes. Punjabs are like Italians… energetic and boisterous. Canadians are stuffy and rich while Punjabs are earthy and can’t afford to send their kids into hockey programs. Appalachian’s are all hillbilly yokels while Francophones are the opposite and are high culture.

    But I will take this as a moment to say Hocmey Is For Everyone is by far the greatest diversity program in sports. It literally is only what it says it is… a system to promote hockey ong ALL groups. It really doesnt care about race, gender, sexuality, or disability. During Hockey is For Everyone month they showcase youth hockey, girls hockey, sled hockey, inner city hockey programs (which includes all races), etc. It never feels like there is something wrong with me for being a white male during the month. There are white straight males who benefit from Hockey Is For Everyone programs. Unlike other sports where I feel like they are more about reminding me that I am apparently sexist/racist.

    Also… GO PENS!!! The Bonino, Bonino, BOOOOOOOONIIIIIIIIINOOOOOOOOOOO call is still used in my house (just my white wife and I) all the time.

    1. Also… Cherry didn’t question the patriotism of immigrants wholesale. He was referring to immigrants who create enclaves and do nothing to adopt Canadian culture. Hell, one of the players he spoke highly of a lot and wanted to see become a real success was Nazim Kadhri. Not really a white-bred dude. As a teacher at a predominantly Mexican/Central American school… I see it a lot. Many of my students cant give two shits about the US, its history, its founding philosophy which enables them the lives they now have, or anything. But GO MEXICO… or MEXICO SHOULD TAKE BACK THE SOUTHWEST… Mexican flags at pep rallies (no US flags). It would be fine if they lacked ANY nationalism… that would be worth celebrating. But that isn’t the case…. they dont love their home, they justice here and vocally wish it were different… wish it were what they still view as their home, Mexico.

      1. Last bit should read “just live here” not “justice here”

      2. We all understood what he meant but like Trump, certain people wanted to believe the worst of an awkward statement.

    2. “Also… Shikha sure loves her racial and ethnic stereotypes. Punjabs are like Italians… energetic and boisterous. Canadians are stuffy and rich while Punjabs are earthy and can’t afford to send their kids into hockey programs. Appalachian’s are all hillbilly yokels while Francophones are the opposite and are high culture.”

      Racists are like that.

  9. How can a Sikh play hockey? A good yank on his turban would drill him into the ice.

    1. That’s what the kirpan is for.

  10. Great piece, but felt like the word ‘Punjabi’ and its variants were seriously underused. Amazingly, ‘Punjabi diaspora’ was only used like 3 times. It didn’t distract from the clarity of the piece, but did interrupt the smooth flow established in the first paragraph. Imo.

    Overall tho, bravo, it’s *journalism like this that really bring this comment section together. Cutting across cultural barriers and learning a thing or two in the process… Was this part of your plan all along, Ms. Dalmia ?

    Happy New Year, Shikha.

    *hot take trainwrecks

  11. They’re saving hockey by having a… barely successful enough to stay on air despite subsidies television show?

    You are such a dumbfuck

    1. Yes, it’s very regional and doesn’t play across the country. Anyway, I don’t see it here.

      I guess it’s like the Ocho on Espn? Or Spanish language NFL football. Don’t know.

  12. But hockey’s already very big in India! Of course they play it on a field, and without ice.

    Anyway, nice work, but did you have to mar it with the totally uncalled-for Trump passage? Yeah, I guess you had to.

    1. I mean, they won the championship as many times as Belgium, so they’re doing better there than at Olympic sports, I guess

  13. Shiksa you ignorant slut…

  14. If everything is about race, you might be a racist.

  15. “President Donald Trump and his fellow immigration restrictionists warn that “mass immigration” from “shitholes”—and Punjab would certainly qualify …”

    How to lie, in one easy lesson. Trump and we immigration restrictionists – who believe in LEGAL, not mass, uncontrolled, immigration – never said anything about the Punjab.
    It would help if the writer told us whether he was talking about Punjabis or Sikhs – the two are not synonymous. Sikhs, who seem to be the focus of the article, are known as hard-working immigrants, and are not part of any ‘mass migration’ to the United States.

    By the way: “It’s hard to conclusively say whether racism is worse in ice hockey than in football or basketball, where racial and ethnic minorities have a larger presence”

    That’s right – racism here, racism there, racism racism everywhere. That’s a great take for Reason magazine. Thanks, Angela Davis.

    1. Forget it. It’s Dalmiatown. She had to work in the TDS.

      You would figure an editor would step in and say, ‘this diverts from the subject’.

  16. Headline is hyperbole. Hockey is embraced by the Punjabi community in Canada. A good thing. Hockey is a good game but isn’t this more of a numbers game? Hockey is the game in Canada. All others are second fiddle. It’s natural immigrants in Canada are drawn to it much like immigrants in USA were drawn to baseball when it was the only game that mattered here.

  17. “People aren’t interested in X anymore, therefore our betters are importing people that are interested in X because our betters have determined that X is really important!”

    1. X = ??

      Islam?
      Spanish?

      Socialism!!!

  18. Unlike the USA, Canada has sensible immigration policies. Trump, whatever you might think of him otherwise, is simply trying to remedy the situation with “merit-based” immigration.
    Democrat politicians favor open borders. Imagine Canada flooded with semi-literate campesinos from Oaxaca (or from Punjab for that matter) instead of Punjabi doctors and nurses. We are just trying to copy Canada’s better way.

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  20. I had no idea hockey in Canada needed saving.

    1. It doesn’t that’s why I called this hyperbole.

      The World Juniors just beat Russia yesterday for the gold and the team was stacked with the usual Anglo-Irish and French-Canadian players with a sprinkle of Italians and Germans.

      I think she’s making the case down the road it will be so but who knows how demographics will shift by the time it happens? For now, for the most part, hockey remains the single most important sport in the country.

      https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/team-canada/men/junior/2019-20/world-championship/stats/team-rosters?teamid=175

      1. I should add Slavs (Polish, Ukrainian etc.) from the Western hockey league.

    2. I had no idea hockey in Canada needed saving.

      Goalie play HAS BEEN atrocious lately.

  21. “Punjabi is the third most widely spoken language in Canada after English and French.”

    In B.C. mostly.

    But technically, Chinese is 3rd.

    Out here in the East, (for now) Italian is still considered (especially in Quebec) the ‘third solitude’.

  22. I think ‘saving’ is a bit hyperbolic, but it’s a great thing what’s happened with Hockey Night Punjabi. We don’t see much of it out east except in spurts.

    Don Cherry is awesome for so many reasons.

    I’ve played and watched hockey for so long I remember when the NHL was 82% Canadian and Guy Lafleur was still gracing the sport with his speed.

    Wayne Gretzky is simply pure class. That’s the one thing I’ve always appreciated about NHL players – they tend to be raised right and act accordingly.

    He never yapped about politics. Always said the right things. Always looked to pass compliments for his team mates. Wasn’t a coach killer. Never made controversial comments – well, except when he called the New Jersey Devils a ‘Mickey Mouse operation’ in the early 80s.

    Crosby and Lemieux after him are and were the same. And Howe and Orr before Gretzky.

    All class.

    1. Weren’t they all just average, polite Canadians?

      1. You can look at it that way.

        I used to bump into Maurice Richard – The Rocket – at the gym I back in the 90s. I played squash, he played racquetball.

  23. A timely and appropriate commentary.

    Open and Closed

  24. I would like to know more about the ‘Italians of India’.

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  26. Look, I’ve said this before about America: Moving here from some other country, and ending up liking football DOES NOT MAKE ONE AMERICAN. Nor does liking hamburgers.

    That shit is all unimportant, secondary bullshit. The problem is that EVERY immigrant group to the USA does not support any of the basic ideas the country was founded on. They don’t support limited government as a general concept, freedom of speech, gun rights, none of it.

    And that’s why we need to severely limit the amount of overall immigration, and what we do let come in needs to be economically productive. Period.

    We MAY be able to “fix” all the shit views of immigrants over a couple generations… But the sheer speed and scale we’ve had in the last couple decades has shifted our politics so far to the left it’s ridiculous. Anybody who cares about freedom needs to accept reality for what it is. Even European immigrants are shit compared to native born Americans, so it’s not purely some racial thing. It’s just that our culture values freedom more, and foreigners all suck balls.

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