A Pakistani-born Canadian Muslim, Talha Javaid who uses his own money to help aspiring hockey players better their game, is fuming after he says a parent criticized him and suggested he shouldn’t be teaching because he’s not white.
Javaid, a respected hockey youth coach in the Windsor-Detroit community, says he was appalled when he received a bitter and rather racist text message on Oct. 9, slamming him with xenophobic messaging about his efforts to teach white kids hockey.
“I was like, ‘What. The. Hell,’” he told Yahoo Sports Canada about the text message. He explained that the message began with, “I’m not a racist but…”
However, it was filled with racist messages. He posted about the hurtful text saying,
“man imagine waking up on a friday and essentially being like “yooo, im gonna go be a racist ass muppet today and tell someone they shouldnt coach hockey because they’re not white, cant wait!!”
man imagine waking up on a friday and essentially being like “yooo, im gonna go be a racist ass muppet today and tell someone they shouldnt coach hockey because they’re not white, cant wait!!” pic.twitter.com/cNYEbsMB8t
— Talha (@flowseidon65) October 11, 2019
When the 23-year-old hockey player and youth coach checked his phone, he stopped in his tracks.
Even more upsetting, Javaid said he and his best friend Sebastian Nystrom use their own funds to pay for ice time, just to host free clinics so they can teach kids, ages five to eight, critical skills to play hockey.
And while the sessions are totally held because of Javaid’s big heart, one father named Chase tore into the Javaid for daring to teach his son since he practices the Muslim religion.
Chase said he doesn’t “feel comfortable” and believes Javaid’s faith will have some influence on his son Riley. He further insinuated that hockey, a predominately white sport, “traditionally” doesn’t include people of color.
“’Tradition’ is coded language for whiteness and the way things have always been,” said Dr. Courtney Szto, assistant professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University and assistant editor of the Hockey in Society blog. “…A Muslim coach throws a wrench into the whole thing. It doesn’t jive with our dominant narrative of who gets to participate in that culture.”
Despite the nasty message, Javaid said he has been inundated with community support, even from white people.
Stanley Cup champion and Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr tweeted his support out of Javaid after hearing about the incident
There are no words for a moron like that. https://t.co/01CmxG7DmM
— Grant Fuhr (@grantfuhr) October 12, 2019
Javaid is one of a small fraction of people of color who play ice hockey in the region. He’s been an avid player since he was a tot, learning how to play the game thanks to a program called “Fajr Quran Hockey” (FQH) at his mosque.
The 23-year-old manages to give back to his community and balance being a full-time economics student at the University of Windsor.
Sadly, Javaid said racism and discrimination is something he has endured for years.
“After Trump was elected, one of the guys on my rec team told me he didn’t want a Muslim guy being his captain,” Javaid recalled. “I told him ‘this is a you problem.’ I had the most points on the team and he had like two. I got the playing time I deserved, and I didn’t even bring it up with the coach.”