Sunday, 22 December 2013


                                    BLACK               SOCIAL           HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Wayne Simmonds  born August 26, 1988 is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is known to his teammates by the nickname Simmer or Wayne Train.

Playing career

Simmonds grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, the third of four sons, in addition to one daughter, born to Cyril Simmonds and Wanda Mercury-Simmonds Despite his proximity to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Simmonds has said that he grew up a fan primarily of the Detroit Red Wings.He is of Black Nova Scotian descent.
Simmonds spent the majority of his minor hockey career playing A and AA hockey in the east end of Toronto, including the Minor Midget Toronto Aces in 2003–04 season of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. After several GTHL AAA players graduated the following summer to junior hockey, Simmonds moved up to the AAA level for the first time with the Toronto Jr. Canadians Midgets of the Greater Toronto Hockey League in 2004–05.
After being scouted at the Telus Cup Regional Midget tournament in the spring of 2005, Mike McCourt noticed him and signed him for the following season with the Brockville Braves of the Central Junior A Hockey League for the 2005–06 season. McCourt was GM and Coach of the Braves and added Simmonds to his club.
Two years after being passed over in the OHL Draft, Simmonds was selected as an 18-year old by the Owen Sound Attack in the 6th round (114th overall) in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection.
He spent his major junior career playing two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2006 until 2008, with the Owen Sound Attack and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He also played for Team Canada at the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. While playing with the Jr. Canadiens, Simmonds became friends with Chris Stewart, another black player who went on to an NHL career. The two would later purchase a house together in Toronto, where they live during the off-season.

A right-handed shooter, Simmonds was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, as the 61st overall pick. He was one of three rookies to make the team's roster for its 2008–09 season. On October 14, 2008, in his third career game, Simmonds scored his first career NHL goal by knocking a rebound past Jean-Sébastien Giguère of the Anaheim Ducks. During his rookie season, Simmonds became a favorite among L.A. fans for his strong work ethic on and off the ice,a trait he has said was instilled within him by his parents.
Entering his second NHL season, Simmonds was looking to increase his offensive production, having tied for the Kings' goal-scoring lead in pre-season play that year. He ultimately scored 40 points in the 2009-10 regular season, nearly doubling his point total of the previous season. Additionally, he led the team in +/- and saw substantive time as a member of the team's penalty killing unit. When the Kings unsuccessfully pursued a trade for superstar left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, then of the Atlanta Thrashers, shortly before that season's All-Star break, Simmonds was among the Kings' players whom Atlanta coveted in return.
He was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, along with Brayden Schenn and a 2012 2nd round pick, for Mike Richards and Rob Bordson on June 23, 2011. As a restricted free agent he signed a two-year contract with an average salary of $1.75 million.
Simmonds achieved a Gordie Howe hat trick in a 5–2 loss to the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center on February 11, 2012. On March 30, 2012, against the Ottawa Senators, Flyers centre Brayden Schenn shot a puck which glanced off of Simmonds' forehead and into the net. Simmonds was credited with the goal.
On August 15, 2012 Philadelphia Flyers signed forward Wayne Simmonds to a six-year extension, with an annual average value of about $4 million.
On February 20, 2013 Wayne Simmonds recorded another Gordie Howe hat trick in a 6–5 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center  when he scored a goal and an assist and fought Tanner Glass. Later that same week, on February 23, 2013 Simmonds recorded yet another Gordie Howe hat trick in a 5–3 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Wells Fargo Center, fighting Chris Thorburn assisting on the Flyers first goal and scoring the game-winning goal.

Banana incident

On September 22, 2011, during a preseason game in London, Ontario between the Detroit Red Wings and the Flyers, a banana was thrown onto the ice while Simmonds was making a shoot out attempt. This was seen as an act of racism. The following day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement regarding the events of the previous day. "We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game," said Bettman in the statement, "the obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario". The suspect later plead guilty to engaging in a prohibited activity under the Trespass Act and was fined $200 but did not need to appear in court.

Racial chants

During the 2012–13 NHL lockout Simmonds was playing with ETC Crimmitschau of the 2nd Bundesliga and HC Bílí Tygři Liberec of the Czech Extraliga. In a game between Liberec and Chomutov in the Czech Extraliga, fans began a chant of "opice", a term which roughly translates to "monkey", towards Simmonds, after his involvement in a fight. Shortly after the game, Chomutov issued an apology to Simmonds, and also announced the intent to identify the people involved and ban them from the venue. Eight of the offending fans were later identified and tried before a court. As a punishment, they were banned from visiting any sports matches for a year.