Wayne Simmonds: Make Sterling sell

Updated: April 29, 2014, 4:05 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, one of the few black players in the NHL, was disgusted by racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that surfaced recently.

[+] EnlargeWayne Simmonds
Len Redkoles/NHLI/Getty ImagesWayne Simmonds says he "definitely" would have a problem playing for an owner like Donald Sterling.

"Make him sell the team, get him out of there," Simmonds said before Game 6 in the club's first-round series against the New York Rangers. "It's really unfortunate because we live in a world today where there should be no color. You should judge a person by their inside and not the way they look. It just sucks that's the way it is right now."

Asked if he'd have a problem playing for a team owner like Sterling, Simmonds responded: "Definitely. One hundred percent."

Simmonds is no stranger to racially charged controversy. The 25-year-old Toronto native had a banana thrown at him during an exhibition game in London, Ontario, in 2011. The fan was later charged by Ontario police for engaging in a prohibited activity.

Perhaps that was why Simmonds said he wasn't totally surprised by Sterling's alleged comments.

"I wanna say yeah [it surprised me], but I've had enough things happen to me and seen enough things in this world that nothing shocks me," Simmonds said.

Asked about displays of prejudice and racism he has endured, Simmonds pointed to the differences between the NHL and the NBA, which is a predominantly black league.

"It's not very subtle to me. I'm kind of a fly in a bucket of milk here," Simmonds said. "There's not too many guys that are African-American in the league. Obviously we have our share of players [but] I think we're in a different situation. Donald Sterling is kind of the opposite of I am."

Simmonds called the incident "unfortunate."

"You want the owner of your team to stand behind you and have faith in you," Simmonds said, "not to have that kind of outlook on life."

Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Follow Katie on Twitter »  Chat archive »

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.