Another day, another pro athlete in the news for old tweets. Jordan Binnington, goal tender for the St. Louis Blues has become the focus of some twitter users on Wednesday for old tweets that resurfaced thanks to the fantastic journalism of Paul Gackle.
In the tweets, Binnington comments on people using Burka's (or Burqa) to get through airport security, and then later to get into a bar. I'm not even entirely sure I've heard Binnington say more than 10 unprovoked words this year, but here are the tweets in question below if you haven't already seen them:
Here's my thing with this: Josh Hader, those were bad tweets. Josh Hader published racist tweets when he was younger, albeit song lyrics in some tweets, but they lead to some obvious issues with teammates and deservedly so. However, those tweets don't define Hader, much like these tweets will never define Jordan Binnington. Especially since what we are talking about here is, to quote Donald Trump, "a big nothing burger". A 19 year old tweeting whatever comes to their mind.
First of all Mr. Gackle, look up the definition of racism before you let your God complex get in the way. As a journalist, you have a responsibility on a number of levels to be accurate and fair. Labeling these tweets as racist from the jump made this a conversation about a racist goalie, not a young man who made a mistake. So rather than trying to bury him for clicks, understand what the hell you are talking about.
Racism, as defined by Webster's dictionary:
Race, as defined by Webster's dictionary:
One of the many definitions of race defines it as "a category of humankind that shares distinctive physical traits. Call me crazy or hell even racist, just because race also includes people who share similar characteristics or defining features, and certainly a burqa is a defining feature in islamic culture from what I can tell, but these tweets are not racist. Islamaphobic, sure. But not racist. I'm not even here to defend Binnington, although I've already lost followers on twitter for doing so.
But calling it "racism" gets more attention right? Had these tweets been blatantly racist, I would be speaking a different tone, believe me or not I don't care. These tweets don't even touch racism.
I take issue with yet another journalist turning towards the downfall of others as a way to create interest in their brand and what they are writing. Which is wild, because the more I examine this situation, I wonder how this at all helps this dude's brand. But here we are, talking about this nonsense.
And I still am not entirely sure what the problem is with the third tweet. Is a cab driver not more responsible for driving then talking on the phone? Do you think people come to this country speaking a different language and want to listen to us flap our gums in english? Who is this even racist or problematic to? I think it's probably safe to say this complaint is a two way street, and Mr. Gackle might be the only one trying to take issue with it. I've been wrong before but I'll go out on a limb with this one.
Why the hell am I even talking about this?! Shut the hell up Paul Gackle. Report about San Jose. Covering the Blues is the wrong series.
Also, for the record, you don't just "come across" some SIX YEAR OLD tweets. You are either sent them or you go on a deliberate search through someone's social media. Imagine this schmuck sitting on Binnington's timeline looking for a way to knock out one of the best young goal tenders in the game. Get a life.
Calling this a nothing burger may seem like me dismissing some problematic tweets from Binnington. And that's not what I am here to do. To Jordan Binnington, delete the tweets and move on. I'm not going to sit here arguing that he made "good points", or that he brings up important issues. He made jokes against another religion which is never okay in American culture today. So remove the tweets, and let's play hockey, because that's all this dude has been doing all year. Let's not get caught up in this anymore than we have to.
Game 1 between St. Louis and Winnipeg kicks off tonight at 7:00 p.m. Let's go Blues.