All day on Monday, I read tweets from members of the media who’ve got personal experience in dealing with Colin Campbell. One wrote that questioning Campbell’s integrity is “not fair.” A former NHL head coach and general manager wrote that anyone who questions “(Campbell’s) integrity and ethics simply doesn’t know the man.” Maybe not, but here’s what I know. I know that the NHL’s Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations should be a lot smarter than to send an e-mail referring to a player in his league as a “little fake artist.” Yet, he did.
You doubtless know the story by now. If not, you can get your complete briefing here from TSN.ca http://bit.ly/99mlcN In e-mails to then-Director of Officiating, Stephen Walkom, Campbell went way, way, way over any perceived line. What I can’t figure out is why he would write what he wrote. Does he not understand that when you write an e-mail you might as well stand on top of a big building beside the town square and shout whatever you want to say at the top of your lungs?
I am getting extremely tired of the National Hockey League marginalizing incidents that should not be marginalized. When TSN contacted Campbell, looking for a response to the e-mails in question, Campbell had the arrogance and nerve to reply, “For me, it’s much ado about nothing.” Nothing? Colin, you referred to an NHL referee as a s**thead who should be “gassed.” You did that in writing. I don’t care to whom you wrote it or why, it is NOT NOTHING!
Then, typically, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly fell right in with the league’s party line when he said, “Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100% integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong.” Boy, there’s nothing quite as fulfilling as being admonished by Bill Daly. Once again, the NHL simply bullies its way through everything and says whatever they deem right.
According to Merriam-Webster, “integrity” is : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility. Synonyms are decency, goodness, virtue. Sorry, folks, but referring to someone in your company’s employ as a s**thead is not decent, good or virtuous.
It has become sickening to watch people who should be conducting themselves by an unimpeachable moral standard – like the person who hands out suspension judgment for the NHL – behave like rude, arrogant children – and treating the fans who revere the game like maggots in an open sore.
But, like everything else distasteful the NHL ever does, this will get swept under several rugs and fade away quickly. And the same people will stay in the same positions making the same decisions.
Frankly, I think it’s pretty clear who the “little fake artists” are.