The Blue Jackets lost to the Blues last night and Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was not pleased in his post game presser. Tortorella also put his foot in his mouth when referring to Ryan Reaves, a black NHL player. Tortorella referred to Reaves as “that animal.” See the full quote below, courtesy of the Undefeated:
The thing that crawls up my a– is, I watched Nick Foligno fight that animal. I watched some other guys do everything they possibly can to try to win the hockey game. Then, I see a few of our top guys, they did not give enough.
In Tortorella’s defense no reporters asked any follow up questions, so we don’t know his true intentions. But, we do have a track record with Tortorella.
This is the same man who had strong opposition for 49ers qb Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protest. You know, the protest based on racial equality for all people. Tortorella served as head coach of Team USA and said he’d “bench any of his players” if they followed Kaepernick’s protest and did not stand for the national anthem.
The use of the word “animal” was all too easy for Tortorella. Go back and research how that term has been used to describe the first black NHL players as well as black people in this country. At best, it was ignorance and an incredibly poor choice of words. At worst, it was willful ignorance and speaks to an underlying issue. My guess is, it’s somewhere in between.
See Tortorella’s post game comments below.