Banana in the stands at John Labatt Centre. (JP Nikota - Special to BSH)
Chris Moorhouse, a 26-year-old from London, Ont., has been arrested for throwing a banana at Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds last week. In an announcement of the arrest at a Wednesday news conference, London Police Chief Brad Duncan sounded awfully Canadian. Via AM980:
"Mr. Moorhouse has been served with a part three summons, and if convicted of this offence - could be liable to a fine of not more than $2,000. This is a provincial offence and not a criminal charge, and will be dealt with in the provincial offenses court."
I'm not going to pretend to completely get this Canadian legal mumbo jumbo, but basically, as I understand it, Moorhouse cannot be charged with a hate crime because it has to be proven that the incident was motivated by hatred. It's pretty hard to do that in this case, as despicable and obvious it is to throw a banana at a black player.
So even if Moorhouse is found guilty, he's going to get off pretty easily. Instead, if he's found guilty, it'll be up to the court of public opinion to truly convict him. AM980 posted photos of him, so, you know.
For the record, it's still unclear whether or not the same banana-tosser was the culprit in both incidents at the John Labatt Centre that evening. In addition to the banana that reached the ice, allegedly thrown by Moorhouse, another banana was thrown after Simmonds scored late in the third period. That banana is pictured above and it came from the opposite side of the arena. Police didn't comment on that.