Despite an unacceptable situation, Nazem Kadri refuses to let hate win
Photo credit:© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
By Noah Strang8 months ago
We’re now four games into the second-round series between the Colorado Avalanche and the St Louis Blues. What should’ve been an amazing series between the Western Conference champions and the 2019 Stanley Cup champions for hockey fans to enjoy has been tainted by a variety of attacks against Nazem Kadri.
On the ice, the St Louis Blues have been taking multiple runs at Kadri, many that appear to have the intent to injure. Blues forward David Perron was fined $5,000 after this cross-check on Kadri in Game 4.
Off the ice, Kadri and his family have been the target of online attacks, many with racist motivations.
Despite all this adversity, Kadri has continued to perform on the ice. He enjoyed a career year this season and that success has carried over to the postseason. He has 10 points across 8 playoff games with nine of those points coming at even strength.
During Game 3, Kadri was involved in a collision that resulted in Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington leaving the game with an injury. During a post-game interview, Kadri then had a water bottle thrown at him by who he alleged was Binnington. It’s worth mentioning that the Blues’ issue with Kadri likely extends back to last year’s playoffs when he threw a dirty hit on Justin Faulk, which Kadri received an eight game suspension for.
Regardless, the hockey world hasn’t done enough to condemn the attacks against Kadri. While Kadri deserves much more support than he’s currently getting, if he’s shown one thing, it’s that he’s not going to let the hate win.
Nazem Kadri and his family under attack
The online world that we live in has allowed people to hide behind anonymous accounts. This has resulted in a proliferation of trolls online who, feeling confident behind a random username, will say things that they would never have the confidence to say otherwise. Unfortunately, Kadri and his family have been the target of many racist attacks from these online trolls in recent days.
The examples above are just the ones that were shared publicly by Kadri’s wife through her Instagram. There are surely countless more that haven’t been shared publicly.
It got to the point where the St. Louis police had to get involved.
“Someone had contacted [the police] about some hateful messages and I was able to read those messages and they were very extreme,” said Kadri. “I just tried to shake it off and they did a good job of reassuring me, making me feel safe. I just had to worry about coming and showing up tonight.
“People need to be aware that this stuff still happens and it’s hurtful. It’s hurtful,” Kadri said of racist messages. “I know a lot of people don’t have to deal with that and they might not understand what it feels like, but people are trying, which I appreciate.
“At the end of the day I’m a good hockey player and I just try to provide for my team and try to put all of that aside. I just worry about some people that maybe aren’t as mentally tough as I am and have to go through that scrutiny and that criticism. So I want to do the best I can to help.”
The Blues players and coaching staff have been asked to comment on the situation. With a chance to stand up for Kadri and condemn these threats, they fell well short.
The St Louis Blues’ shocking silence
When asked about the death threats and other online attacks that Kadri and his family were victims of, Blues head coach Craig Berube refused to comment. There was no condemning of the racist attacks, not even a simple message about how he feels for Kadri. Instead, he outrightly refused to comment. This marks a massive shortcoming by Berube, one that should be a disappointment to anyone involved in the Blues organization.
To make matters worse, there’s been no one on the Blues that has stepped up and spoken out against the actions of their fans in a meaningful way. Perhaps the strongest show of support that Kadri received was a comment from Perron where he said the situation was “unfortunate” and then proceeded to try to take Kadri’s head off with a vicious elbow after he scored a goal in Game 4.
The Blues’ response to the situation has been disappointing, to say the least. They missed a chance to stand up for a fellow hockey player and put in the minimum amount of effort to condemn racism and support Kadri.
Kadri’s standout performance despite the circumstances
Despite the situation, Kadri has been one of the best players on the ice during this series. He scored three goals in Game 4 as he propelled the Avalanche to a crucial victory that doubled their series lead. The Avalanche now only need one more win to advance to the Western Conference finals.
It’s clear that Kadri is using the weak response by members of the Blues organization to fuel his performance, specifically that of head coach Craig Berube.
“Guess he’s [Craig Berube] never heard of bulletin board material,” commented Kadri after his hattrick in Game 4.
If the Blues knew what was good for them, they’d have already been much harsher speaking out against the hate that Kadri has received. While it should be the baseline for being a good person, they should also know better than anyone else that the 31-year-old centre doesn’t need any more motivation to send them home to golf.
And look, we’re not going to tell you as a Canuck fan to love or even like Nazem Kadri, the player. But it’s important to remember that this player is still a human being and no human being should have to deal with what Kadri is dealing with off the ice, period.
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