Evander Kane Just Decided To Skip A Game Because Dustin Byfuglien Threw His Track Suit In The Cold Tub
DeadSpin- According to SportsNet's report, after Kane violated the Jets' dress code by showing up to Tuesday's morning workout in a tracksuit, Dustin Byfuglien threw the tracksuit into the shower. No one on the team saw Kane after that; he reportedly missed Winnipeg's pregame meeting and answered his phone an hour before the game to say that he wouldn't be playing against the Canucks.
Yup, that'll do it. Sound the alarm! When there is smoke, there is usually fire. Evander Kane's time in Winnipeg looks to be coming to a screeching fault. There has been controversy circulating for years over some of Kane's transgressions. Missing meetings, social media antics, bad attitude, mostly insignificant stuff as long as he manages to perform on the ice. However, when you decide to just skip a professional game that you are paid millions to participate in, you probably crossed a line you can't uncross. Truth be told, I don't really give a fuck if Evander Kane showed up to pre game practice and meetings in a track suit. Yeah, he receives a hefty paycheck to be dressed appropriately, but at the end of the day it's just an outfit. I also don't really give a fuck that Dustin Byfuglien threw his clothes in the cold tub. In fact, you almost have to expect that in a hockey locker room. I have seen unspeakable things go down amongst teammates. A wet outfit, when you blatantly show up out of dress code, doesn't scratch the surface in terms of what goes on behind closed doors.
You can't just not show up though. Has that even happened before? Off the top of my head I can't remember an instance where a player just refused to show up, regardless of the circumstances. I don't care if Dustin Byfuglien peed down his leg while they were in the shower. I'm all for personal stances, but you can't act like a child just because someone pranks you. Not when you are making 6 million dollars a year to play a kid's game. You think LeBron James was skipping games when Delonte West was taking his mom to pound town? You think Roy Hibbert just didn't show up when Paul George was going 3 rounds a night with his wife? Granted, with the way he was playing he may as well have stayed home, but he still technically showed up. As a professional that is what you are paid to do.
I would be doing a disservice if I ignored the elephant in the room. When your enigmatic black star player can't even get along with your only other black player, the conflict is beyond resolution. I am not saying all black people have to be friends, that would be racialist. I am saying that all black hockey players should be friends, or at least have each other's back. Especially is they are on the same team. A hockey locker room is a crazy place. A lot of white boys with reckless personalities. There are certain times in life where you should gravitate towards your own. In a sport that only employs, on average, about one black person per team, I would think Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane would find comfort in each other's presence. Plus, if Dustin Byfuglien has a problems with your actions, you know you fucked up. We aren't talking about a player that is completely void of off ice issues either. Pretty sure Dustin showed up like 50 pounds overweight to training camp after eating an entire herd of cattle in the offseason a couple years back. Safe to say he's not a coaches' delight. If he has an issue with you, despite your talent level and comparable skin tone, it's pretty clear he speaks for the majority.
A little piece of advice for professional athletes and those that stand to benefit off them. In 2015, the truth will set you free. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but the truth will definitely save you some inevitable embarrassment. It's called getting ahead of a story. Come on guys, do I have to play publicist too? Remember when everyone thought Josh Shaw was a heroic lifeguard for a day, until the truth came out that he sprained both ankles escaping a domestic dispute? Remember the days when people thought bikers could ride 2,200 mile races with ease, and baseball players could hit the ball 7,000 feet, based solely off natural strength and athletic ability? Honestly, I kind of miss those days. The days when the public was completely oblivious to steroid use. Those days are no longer though. If you do something stupid, whether it be sticking a needle in your ass, or skipping your game because you have wet clothes, the media is going to find out. There are too many sources, too much technology, too many branches of the inter-webs. Plus, wouldn't you want the media to talk about how Kane is a moron for skipping work, instead of them thinking you are an uptight asshole for suspending him for a dress code violation?
"Game? What game? Ohhhh, that's tonight? Yeah, about that…."