Bozak's Halloween Costume Sparks Controversy

(above) It only took 3 hours for every newspaper in Canada to jump on this photo
From: Toronto Sun

Had it not been for the current lockout, Toronto Maple Leafs & DU Alum Tyler Bozak might have been resting – maybe celebrating – after meeting the Anaheim Ducks at the Air Canada Centre Tuesday night.

Instead, the 26-year-old from Regina, Sask., became the subject of heated social media talk after a tweet from his personal Twitter account appeared to show a picture of himself in blackface, posing as former pop star Michael Jackson while grabbing himself.

Although he promptly removed the tweet the photo was captured by a number of followers, who prominently displayed the image for all to see, leading Bozak to comment on the accompanying backlash that ensued.

“That's a tribute to one of my fave artists,” Bozak tweeted. “For anyone saying its racist is crazy!”

Blackface is a style of makeup used for imitating a black person. It has a history of being used in forms of entertainment based on racist stereotypes.

In three season with the Leafs Bozak has 106 points in 192 games. He agreed to a two-year extension with Toronto last summer.


dggoddard said...

As Cartman says, "I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them."

Here's the 2012 LetsGoDU edition of the "Do's & Don'ts of Racist HAlloween Costumes as decided by the PC Police."

* You can dress up like a Washington Redskin but you can't go to a party as a dressed as a Native American.

* You can dress up as Asian rapper PSY, but you can't be Michael Jackson.

* Saturday Night Live cast members can make an industry out of racial stereotyping but NHL hockey players can not.

Don't Tweet words such as, "Retard," "gay," "slave," or make any type of ethnicity descriptions, use slang terms for women, transgenders, prostitutes and/or strippers.

Positive racial stereotyping is also frowned upon such as "hard-working" illegal aliens; Asians are good at homework, math and assembly line work; Jews are successful in business & Muslims make very good suicide bombers.

If any of the above references occur on the campus of the University of Denver someone will file an "Incident Report," getting the SOB who made the comment in trouble and building a TeePee on the Driscoll lawn while you issue a formal apology.

Anonymous said...

As the CC players learned some years ago, blackface has a long and shameful history in this country.

Bozak needs to learn history.

No excuses.

dggoddard said...

Isn't Bozak Canadian and presumably the photo was taken in Canada?

BringBackBoone said...

Being in costume as a dead pedophile does not bother me. Pretending as if a Colorado Springs school has a hockey program - I take issue with that.

Anonymous said...

Most Canadians know about US blackface history. Additionally, Canada has its own blackface controversies from time to time, including other NHL players in the last couple of years. (See Raffi Torres).

While Bozak sees tribute, others see painful mockery.

I have no doubt that Bozak is not a racist. His wide circle of friends, his previous tweets and caring social stands and community service are evidence that he is a very decent guy. However, he screwed up here, and ignorance can't be an excuse. I'd like to see him own this, apologize and become more of an advocate for social dignity in the future.

Anonymous said...

Would you send your kids out of the house for Halloweeen dressed as blackface Michael Jackson?

Didn't think so.

Bozak is not racist, but this was dumb. He needs to be more aware.

dggoddard said...

I find it extremely doubtful that even 5% of Canadians know about the blackface controversy in the US.

Anonymous said...

Bozak seems like a good guy, and I doubt he had any bad intentions with this. That said, he should have known better. It strikes me as a little naive and immature for a guy of his age. You can pay your tribute to Michael Jackson. But blackface has too many negative connotations, and I don't think the knowledge of that stops at the Canadian border. My advice to Tyler: pick Elvis as your Halloween costume next year.

Anonymous said...

Canada had minstrel shows with entertainers in blackface years ago, just as the USA did. Many Canadians have memories of those.

Additionally, there have been big, front page controversies in Canada over new productions of old musicals such as 'Showboat', which have sterotypical racial depictions that some people find offensive.

Finally, white NHL players such as Pat Kane, Adam Burrish and Raffi Torres have all gotten into hot water recently over depicting black celebrities for Halloween. Major news in Canada.

Bozak should have been aware.

Anonymous said...

It's a Halloween costume. Grow some thicker skin if you find it in poor taste. Gimme a break.

dggoddard said...

The bottom line is that this "story" is in dozens of newspapers today because Tyler Bozak is a celebrity.

The people who called him out inititially were hockey fans [most likely Canadians], most likely white & most likely don't give a crap about race relations.

We live in a gotcha society. Bozak should not of done it, he obviously meant no harm and needs to be way more careful with Twitter.

One or more of his "fans" on Twitter did him in.

Lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

The 2007 CC hockey team is laughing rather than sympathizing with Bozack.

Just another reason not to make a hockey player a role model for kids. The administration should remove his recorded introduction during hockey games this season.

Anonymous said...

What really offends me is he is grabbing his little jimmy. what a moron. He was never known for being smart.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Bozak was a WCHA all-Academic selection in his two post-freshman seasons at DU.

However, we was not a history major.

Anonymous said...

Tyler left after his sophomore season...

Anonymous said...

"We live in a gotcha society."

DG...that's you dipshit.

You sit and troll the internet all night long with your dick in your left hand waiting for members of every other colege hockey team/alumni to fuck up.

So how about owning this one. He wore the DU jersey. Come one...if this were Toews, Parise, or Kessel you you would have quickly minimized and quickly posted a "Badboyz" thread.

Anonymous said...

Badboyz is reserved for arrests, convictions or suspensions.

Bozak dressing up like Michael Jackson for Halloween does not fall into the Badboyz category.