I have been very consistent is saying that regardless of intent, any type of “blackface” is in poor taste.
I don’t know Raffi Torres, but from my understanding he is a huge Jay Z fan and I don’t think he meant anything malicious by it. But if you are going to do something like this and you are a professional athlete you might not want to photographed.
You are always going to get backlash to the point you have to ask yourself if it is even worth it.
Yes indeed, Coyotes forward Raffi Torres attended this holiday soirée as Jiggaman, while his wife dressed up as Beyonce (complete with baby bump).
To the surprise of absolutely no one in 2011, Torres was immediately criticized and demonized for using “blackface” for comedic effect.
Bissonnette, catching the whiff of outrage, later tweeted:
“As far as everyone trying to call ‘Racism’ because Raffi dressed up like Jay-Z can simmer down. He’s a huge Jay-Z fan.”
So Raffi Torres has 99 problems and having half the hockey world calling him a racist is one. Thomas Drance of Canucks Army writes:
Seriously people, don’t do it, don’t wear black-face on Halloween, or ever. It’s stupid, it’s ignorant, and it just doesn’t fly.
Even if Raffi’s halloween costume bears little resemblance to the blackface of minstrel shows, the subject is too loaded to be a source of humour. It’s off limits.
I don’t think it is a big deal, but something as an athlete you should be aware of and understand anytime you put on that makeup there is going to be a part of the African-American community that will never find that funny regardless if you think it is harmless.
Torres could have easily did the same costume without the extra brown makeup and it isn’t a story.
Use your brain it is a tool.