December 21, 2005

Chicoutimi -- it apparently means "racist knobs" in French: Fans of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, pulled out the tomahawk chop, yelled war whoops and insulted Moncton Wildcats head coach Ted Nolan during a QMJHL game on Sunday. Nolan, an Ojibwa and former head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, was upset and angry after the game, but received plenty of support from the public. He also received an apology from the Sagueneens on Tuesday.

posted by wfrazerjr to hockey at 09:54 AM - 42 comments

Oh, and Chicoutimi fans also apparently threw a garbage can at a Moncton player and then kicked the crap out of his dad.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:58 AM on December 21

That's despicable behaviour. The fans of the Sagueneens should be ashamed of their breathren and make it known. And Nolan should be in the NHL.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:08 AM on December 21

Ditto to Weedy on Nolan belonging in the NHL.

posted by holden at 10:16 AM on December 21

How come nobody in the NHL picked this guy up? He seemed smarter than your average coach. Fans of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens are like school in the summer time; no class.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:16 AM on December 21

I didnt see anything wrong with the way they acted posted by DETRIOT FAN 69 at 11:26 AM on December 21 i also agree with Nolan being in the NHL

posted by steelcityguy at 10:26 AM on December 21

How come nobody in the NHL picked this guy up? He seemed smarter than your average coach. Because they gave him one chance and he succeeded for the most part, but that wasn't good enough.

posted by yerfatma at 10:32 AM on December 21

How come nobody in the NHL picked this guy up? He seemed smarter than your average coach. Because he initiated a power struggle with his GM, lost, and then got blacklisted.

posted by grum@work at 10:38 AM on December 21

John Muckler has blacklisted Ted Nolan since he called him out in Buffalo a million years ago. The NHL has been deprived of a really good coach for the last decade-plus because of this petty insider bullshit that has nothing to do with hockey whatsoever. Fuck John Muckler. And don't judge Chicoutimi by what these knuckleheads did. Judge them by how they address what these knuckleheads did.

posted by chicobangs at 10:58 AM on December 21

I've submitted a column. I'll wait for it to be put up before I start mouthing off.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:52 AM on December 21

The NHL is really good at blacklisting coaches that won't tolerate piss-poor GMs, and that's just what Nolan did. The Sabres had a fine coach in his tenure, but they had players that thought the coach should win the games for them, and that just does not happen. As far as what happened in the French junior league, one has to remember where these dickheads think they are. In their imagination, they are in the crowned links of the olde country, but they actually reside in a place one can freeze to death just by getting the newspaper carelessly. Maybe the Penguins can use Nolan? Certainly would help.

posted by mrhockey at 11:58 AM on December 21

How exactly would the organization keep something like this from happening again? It's not like during a patdown you're going to find an "I'm a Stupid Ass" card on somone. How do you screen for ignorance and racism? P.S. Where is RZA? This thread actually is about racism.

posted by willthrill72 at 12:13 PM on December 21

Because it's racism against natives, in another country, even. There's nowhere to put the soapbox. So this doesn't count.

posted by chicobangs at 12:29 PM on December 21

My only knowledge of Chicoutimi is that it is a place an ex went for summer camp, or some shit...but I'm over that cruel bitch, so enough about that. It's a damn shame that this wasn't a single or even a couple of fans, but a group. What is this Lazio in Serie A? They better get life-time bans from the arena. I've been a proponent of Nolan getting an NHL job for a while, and I still feel the same.

posted by garfield at 12:47 PM on December 21

Georges Vezina was known as "the Chicoutimi Cucumber." There's something good.

posted by chicobangs at 12:58 PM on December 21

Because it's racism against natives, in another country, even. There's nowhere to put the soapbox. So this doesn't count. Dude, everybody knows that Native Canadians make the best running backs.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:06 PM on December 21

It is really ironic that Chicoutimi is not a French name...it is the French spelling of a "First Nations" word.

posted by wwilfox at 01:19 PM on December 21

Every time I've been to Canada, I've listened to racist comments from English speakers about the French. Lazy, worthless, stupid, silly, etc. I've been told (by a Saguenay Frenchman) that for many decades the French were treated like "the niggers of Canada." An incident like this shows that racism comes from all sides, but I find the outrage by English-speakers a little ridiculous.

posted by dusted at 02:12 PM on December 21

That's funny, dusted, because I moved to Canada from the United States just over a year ago and I have yet to hear anyone use a slur against the French-speaking population. In fact, the only one who seems to have anything against them is me, and that's only because I went to Paris as an exchange student and thought the vast majority of the people there sucked derriere.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:28 PM on December 21

Ah, dusted I don't doubt there's lots of anti-French sentiment in Canada - usually in the areas where there aren't any French people. They don't get it too bad in my part of the country - but hey, ignorance knows no borders. Besides, a good percentage of Americans would consider the French (especially the seperatists) traitors and demand their summary conviction for attempting to sucede. I find the outrage by English-speakers a little ridiculous. If you include the French in a list of persecuted minorities you're really doing a disservice to actually persecuted people everywhere. They get to collect their own taxes, relegate English to unwritten status, get to have French signs all over the country (but no English signage in Quebec), and generally don't do too badly.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:32 PM on December 21

Well, I could blame my experiences on small-town people, except that I've heard it in cities, too. There are racists everywhere, but after hearing the same crap several times, it started to look like a pattern. I'm not defending any of it, and I don't mean to minimize what happened to Nolan. But from my view, it's pretty ironic to hear righteous indignation coming from English speakers.

posted by dusted at 02:59 PM on December 21

I went to Paris as an exchange student and thought the vast majority of the people there sucked derriere. The people in Paris would probably think the same thing about the people in Québec.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:12 PM on December 21

Weedy, I don't know where you get your information from, but there is plenty of written English in Québec, and a lot of places STILL aren't bilingual. The simple fact that you seem to be confusing the French and Québécois people leaves me skeptical about your point of view. Also, it should be noted that the Québécois were the 26th highest-paid ehtnic-group in Québec up th the seventies - because they didn't speak English! This is just the first generation of people in Québéc who can get a good education, work and otherwise live in their language, in their own moores, and not being discriminated against (much like African-Americans in the U.S.A., which is where the comparison comes from). You say that they get to collect their own taxes. Why wouldn't they? They aren't a sub-group, are they? All this backstory makes it even more perplexing that people who've been discriminated against would do the same to other people. Believe me, people cringed when this story was shown on the news, but it makes me wonder as to how many would have participated would they have been there the night it happened in Chicoutimi. Finally, good Doctor, a Native Canadian once told me that even that term is racist, as that group comprises many different nations which shoudn't be lumped together! Oi vey, a complex issue indeed. . .

posted by Judas at 04:12 PM on December 21

a Native Canadian once told me that even that term is racist Racist? Sure. Inflammatorily so? I'd doubt it. "White person" is a racist term which lumps a whole bunch of nations together, and while it's not exactly a polite label, it's not all that insulting. I'd think.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:41 PM on December 21

Judas - I'm interested in knowing any place in Quebec where they are forbidden from speaking French. The places that aren't bilingual are entirely French-speaking. How is that anti-French? I really don't see the historical linkage of French Canadians and African Americans. The French have hardly experienced the same kind of marginalization. There have been French universites and schools in Quebec since the beginning of the country. When were Quebecers prevented from being able to live and work in their own language? Certainly never in Quebec. They collect federal taxes according to privledges the rest of the country doesn't get. Quebec has separate legislation that governs this, with a mind towards protecting its own culture and traditions. That's pretty fucking good - n'est pas? Where are the French discriminated against in Quebec?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:45 PM on December 21

Weedy, with all due respect, shut the fuck up about French-speaking Québécois. You're just spewing ignorant, cliché-ridden bullshit. Take this extremely humourous reference to the "Québécois pea-soup eaters" for example. Or this other tasty "too much poutine" comment. If you want to see the face of racism against French Québec, just look in the mirror.

posted by qbert72 at 10:01 PM on December 21

My ancestors came to Canada from France in 1662 as trappers and they brought no women with them, so obviously I also have Native blood in me too. My grandfather moved to Michigan in the early 1900's to escape that racism against the French speakers in Quebec. I loved my grandfather, but I admit I resent he cut me off from the culture that is part of me by refusing to speak French in front of us and insisting that our parents not teach it to us. Racism causes that. I am proud to be an American (as evidenced by 4 years in the US Air Force during Viet-Nam), but I AM a Canuck and proud of it.

posted by commander cody at 02:46 AM on December 22

Weedy, with all due respect, shut the fuck up about French-speaking Québécois. You're just spewing ignorant, cliché-ridden bullshit. Wow Q - there was no respect in that comment. I didn't realize the sensitivity to two of my favorite foods - split pea soup and poutine. My god, I will no longer attach any cultural significance to either of those wonderful things. (Uh, don't we all joke about Screech and the Newfies? BC and the pot? Alberta and the crazy-right-wing homophobes? Good lord, I'm from Toronto - I get it from all sides) If you want to see the face of racism against French Québec, just look in the mirror. If I'm the epitome of racism (wouldn't it be ethnicism?) against the French, then you guys are doing very well. What with my constant trips and bilingualism. Please enjoy all the money I spend in Quebec every year - it's clearly the product of my guilty French-hating soul. But, I don't live there, so I guess I'm just not as informed as perhaps I thought I was. I didn't mean to offend, I do bristle at the thought of French vicitimhood. It's just not that bad. Seriously though - you guys have it as bad as Natives or African Americans? In the words of a greater man than me: "C'monnnnnnnnn..." Oh, by the way. I'M FRENCH. (But more Acadian than Quebecer. Doesn't mean I'm not the face of French racism though - just thought you obviously didn't know that.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:12 AM on December 22

Weedy, you're right, there was no respect in my comment, because you don't deserve any on this matter. Let's answer your question first: no, I don't think we have it as bad as Natives or African Americans. Only extreme nationalists pretend such a thing. However, French Canadians have been discriminated against for a couple of centuries, and have been the recipients of an explicit "assimilation" plan. You of all people should know this. The fact that you're so oblivious to the implications of your "jokes" puts you on the same level as those Chicoutimi knobs for me. "Come on, it's just for fun" doesn't cut it, sorry. If you need help understanding, try a few substitutions in your jokes. Imagine Michael Jordan was admitted to the hospital with an irregular heart rate, and your first comment was "Doctor told him to lay off the fried chicken and he'll be fine". People here would rip you a new one for this. Yet that's exactly what you said. Another one: "We give you land, loads of money, the right to govern yourselves and live in your own language. What more do you Natives want?" Sounds eerily like what you've said in this thread, doesn't it?

posted by qbert72 at 09:02 AM on December 22

Yep, you're right - I'm a dirty racist. Excuse me while I throw myself out the window. Perhaps I'm not sensitive enough to the implications of my humor. Perhaps you're really overly sensitive and quick to judge. But mostly, I don't consider Qubecers to be terribly persecuted, so I don't filter it. Those dirty Albertans on the other hand - they get it hard and I don't care who I hurt. And that's not exactly what I said - what if the doctor was black who made the joke? Would there be less offense? Ah that's kind of a strawman arguement, but I just don't make too much distinction between French Canadians and myself. We're all just Canadians to me. So when I say that you drink a lot of maple syrup, enjoy poutine *havesexwithyourownchildren*and tourtierre, it's because I love.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:25 AM on December 22

Wow, I feel real fucking stoopid. I've been wondering what poutine was since that Lemieux post but have been too lazy to look it up, so after another poutine reference I decided to find out what it was. What do I find, it's fucking cheese fries with gravy (a staple of the diner cuisine, although I prefer to dip 'em in gravy rather than have the gravy on top but whatever) So Weedy if you have a problem with cheese fries and gravy than me a Mr Tire Iton are gonna pay a little visit to the Toronto area (mostly to see the Hockey Hall of fame but also to kick your ass)

posted by HATER 187 at 09:44 AM on December 22

Hey HATER, I bet you don't feel half as stupid as I do. This entire time I was thinking poutine was Canadian slang for poontang!

posted by willthrill72 at 09:51 AM on December 22

Actually, I'm not sure which is worse, British-Canadian cuisine or French-Canadian Cuisine. Luckily, during my trip to Toronto, we were smart enough to eat Korean and Greek instead of hazarding the Bishop and the Belcher. Weedy, you go ahead and laugh at those French-Canuckian folks... Screw 'em if they can't take a joke. I'm Native American, and if I flew off the handle everytime someone thought it was cute to call me "Chief", I wouldn't have time for much else.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 10:20 AM on December 22

I'm a dirty racist. You keep arguing points that were not made. You're not the dirty racist, you're the leisurely racist, just like these Sags fans. There's no outright hatred in there, just ignorance and insensitivity. How do you think they excuse their behaviour now? "Come on, it was just a joke. Don't these guys have a thicker skin than that? They're treated well now, they need to get over it." How can you not know that "pea soup" is one of the classic derogatory terms used by the English towards French Canadians? Hell, it's even been internalized as an insult. "Pissou" means "coward" in joual. (Joual is Montréal's regional dialect, which incorporates a lot of English words.) How's that for assimilation? As a word, it's just as good as "nigger" to us French Québécois. So, thanks for the kind memories you bring back.

posted by qbert72 at 10:22 AM on December 22

Screw 'em if they can't take a joke. So screw Ted Nolan too? Nobody stopped him from coaching that night, after all. It was all just fun among consenting adults, right? I didn't see Weedy making that call at the beginning of this thread. I saw him denouncing "despicable behaviour". Oh, and some of you really need to update your ideas on French-Canadian cuisine.

posted by qbert72 at 10:35 AM on December 22

Now that's something I didn't know. Pissou. Interesting. Didn't mean it that way - just actually was harping on Lemieux's penchant for being out of shape (he once commented when asked how he prepares for the season that 3 weeks before training camp he stops putting ketchup on his french fries - oh shit, I said french fries. Damn, I have to stop attaching ethnicity to everything - oh, when will I learn?). I am well aware that pea soup is a classic term for French Canadians - I just didn't realize that it was THAT offensive. I humbly retract the comment. And I am not a leisurely racist. I'm just not up on my joual. I wasn't fueled by hatred then, or now. Stop attacking me because my knowledge of obscure dialects is less than yours. It's terribly unkind. Personally I think you're just pissed about your hockey pool standing. Or Pissou. Whichever you prefer. I'm starting to think that you're a racist too. You don't seem to be giving me - the Anglo-pig - any benefit of the doubt. Are you anti-Anglo? Here's another viscious generalization - Quebec makes good goalies. Ha! No I think I'm not going to continue to frequent la belle province if I'm not wanted. I'll take my millions elsewhere. I made loads in the cheese curd index in the late 80s. It's traded as a commodity.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:40 AM on December 22

Weedy, I know you want me to make a joke to answer yours and that all will be well that will end well. But you're yet again focussing on the wrong thing. The "pissou" lesson was just a sidenote. You don't need to know joual to know that "pea soup" is a derogatory term to French Canadians. As I said myself, I'm certain that there is no hatred in your jokes, only ignorance and disrespect. They're still "despicable" and offending to me (and a few other lurkers I know). You can continue to argue that French Québécois are not or haven't been discriminated against enough to justify being offended. How does this help towards more understanding between the two solitudes? Still, thank you for retracting your comment. Almost as good as an apology. ;-)

posted by qbert72 at 11:09 AM on December 22

Naw - I did get defensive and then, well, quippy. Honestly - I'm embarassed that I didn't know that. I consider myself quite the Canada booster, and my Canada certainly includes Quebec. To wit: I DO apologise. Won't happen again.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:40 AM on December 22

Apology accepted, Weedy. My Québec includes Canada. :-P

posted by qbert72 at 11:50 AM on December 22

get a room

posted by garfield at 12:31 PM on December 22

Have I mentioned that I think Canada is really cool?

posted by dusted at 01:00 PM on December 22

Yep Qbert, the two posts of Weedy's you linked to were just as full of Racist hate as what Ted Nolan experienced at that arena. In case you missed it, I am native american, and I take that kind of crap regularily. As Weedy pointed out, there was no ill will intended, the LeMieux crack had to do with an actual quote of his. So, you've got Weedy using "pea-soup eater". Again, if I or Ted Nolan decided to get our panties in a bunch everytime we got called "Chief", we'd have really bunchy panties. Or I could go off if someone says "Howe" to me, or if I walk past a cigar store. So yes, there are times you just have to take a joke. We opressed minorities generally understand this. There are too many battles to be fought to fight all of them. If you can actually get that worked up about a Poutine comment, then my hats off to you. I don't have the energy to get in someone's face of piddling junk like that. Lighten up.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 11:30 AM on December 23

Honestly, I put in that much energy because I know Weedy as a regular Canadian poster here, who I respect. It was disappointing coming from him, and I knew he could take the heat. I would not have bothered had it been any other US noob (only slight offence to US noobs meant here...). Again, just to be clear, I do not believe in any way that the French Americans have suffered and currently suffer anywhere near how the Native Americans or African Americans have. And I applaud you for being able to take the regular abuse the way you do. The poutine comment struck me first and foremost as a really insensitive thing to say. The guy has a newly found heart condition, and your first reaction is a joke about his fatty diet? And since poutine is the new tiresome Québec cliché in Canada, and Weedy had used "pea soup" a few days before (which I let slide, mind you), I took it as doubly insensitive, and the sign of a pattern. So I agree with you in principle. My perspective on this instance is different, that's all.

posted by qbert72 at 10:25 PM on December 23

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