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Fan throws banana at Simmonds, one of NHL's few black players

LONDON, Ontario _ Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, one of the NHL's few black players, had a banana thrown at him from the stands as he started the shoot-out against Detroit on Thursday night at the Labatt Centre.

The arena is operated by Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.

The banana sailed past Simmonds and he kept his concentration and scored, but the Flyers lost in the shoot-out, 4-3.

"At first, I thought I better get another shot if I miss," Simmonds said in the Flyers' locker room after the game.  "But I did score, so that was good."

Simmonds 23, who came to the Flyers in the deal that sent Mike Richards to Los Angeles in the summer, was asked if he ever had anything like this happen to him that had racial overtones.

"I've never had a banana thrown at me before. That's a first for me," he said. "I guess it's something I obviously have to deal with _ being a black player playing a predominantly white sport. I've grown a lot playing in this league and throughout my whole life. I'm not going to dwell on that. It's over with now."

"Really hope he knows that here in Philly, we aren't like that," tweeted Levenitup. "Just gonna give him louder applause when I see them play."

"Total disrespect for the man and the game. Horrible," tweeted LordFudge.

"Jeez, where was this game played? Mississippi circa 1955?" PhillySportPhan tweeted. "This is ridiculous…."

One personr (Canada_gill) tweeted that it was a "black eye for all hockey fans cuz of one racist idiot."

_ Sam Carchidi

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