Joel Ward said he shrugged off the torrent of racist tweets that were directed at him Wednesday night after he scored the series-clinching goal in Boston.
“For me, it’s pretty simple: I don’t let it bother me at all,” Ward said after Friday's practice at KCI. “It’s a few people that made a couple of terrible comments. What can you do?”
“I know what I signed up for,” he added. “I’m a black guy playing a predominantly white sport. It just comes with the territory. I would be naive or foolish to believe or think that it doesn’t exist. It’s part of life.”
A few feet away from Ward, teammate Jason Chimera expressed disgust.
“People are a-holes,” Chimera said. “For someone to come in and ruin someone’s moment like that… It was just a few idiots who ruined what was a beautiful moment for somebody. It’s terrible for him to go through that. It made you sick to your stomach. After we won the series, everyone should have a good feeling. But everyone had a bad feeling in their stomach after that.”
Captain Alex Ovechkin said he doesn’t think Ward will allow the comments to affect him.
“I don’t think he’s going to read it and think about it,” he said. “He knows we love him [as] a person and a hockey player here. …But fans, sometimes they say good things and sometimes they say bad things.”
Then Ovechkin cracked about Ward’s sudden fame: “He’s right now Michael Jordan of hockey.”
More on the Capitals:
— For Caps, second round could be boom or bust
— Ward arrives a hero at Friday’s practice
— Caps to face Rangers in conference semifinals
— Caps are committed to Hunter’s system
— Boswell: Skies clearing for D.C. sports
— Hamilton: Leonsis’s summer is looking better