Last year when the NHL suspended Chicago Blackhawks player Andrew Shaw one playoff game for being caught using a gay slur, the league was lauded for taking the meaningful step.
Now the NHL is backtracking.
Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was caught calling a referee a “cocksucker” on multiple occasions during his team’s Game 4 against the Nashville Predators.
The NHL’s reaction? A meaningless $10,000 fine. No suspension.
As we’ve said ad nauseam, fines are meaningless to players like Getzlaf. His salary this year alone is $9.25 million, which is just a fraction of his current $66 million contract. That makes the fine just 0.1% of his annual salary.
That fine is the maximum allowed under the union agreement, making it even worse that the NHL didn’t go the way of a suspension.Last year the league fined player Andrews Shaw $5,000 and suspended him from one playoff game for calling a referee a "faggot" for penalizing him.
Bench time is something players understand. Shaw and Getzlaf can make up a fine with a weekend signing autographs.
Meantime, "faggot" had another good week in the marketplace of ideas on Twitter last week: