I’m not saying Rafi Torres is racist, he just lacks common sense
Now, I understand that Halloween is a time for people to dress up, but Raffi Torres’ costume crossed a line. Most people would instinctively know that dressing up in blackface is in incredibly poor taste, but somehow this fact alluded the Vancouver Canucks forward.
The NHL player dressed up as rapper Jay-Z for Halloween – complete with darkened skin (he’s reportedly a huge fan of the rapper), and his wife dressed up as Beyonce. Many were quick to say the player’s decision was harmless, while others criticized his judgment.
Torres’ agent, Eustace King said that the intent of his costume wasn’t malicious. Speaking to Post Sports columnist Bruce Arthur on TSN Radio, he said that he understood where people were coming from. “Do I understand where people are coming from? Absolutely. And there’s an education side to it. In Canada, the culture is different. You’re not taught this in school […] Raffi had no clue there was a direct connection.”
Arthur went further, stating “Canada has no notable tradition of blackface, and it is not exactly taught in our schools. For many Canadians, how would we know?”
Answer: We just know it’s wrong and in poor taste.
Thomas Drance of Canucks Army criticized Torres’ lack of judgment. He wrote, “Seriously people, don’t do it, don’t wear blackface 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 tend to agree with Drance. Torres’ decision was in incredibly poor taste, and frankly, he should’ve at least been aware that this would upset people.
But that’s just my opinion – I welcome yours.