It’s no secret Sean Avery is the Mr. Nice guy in the NHL. In fact, he’s probably one of the more hated players in the league, thanks to his antics and his mouth on and off the ice.
But former Rangers winger Alex Frolov, who spent his last season in the NHL with New York before heading to the KHL, said Avery’s mouth turned racist several times on the bench and in the locker room when the 31-year-old winger used the term “black monkeys.”
“(Avery) isn’t a fool. Lately he has become calmer, smarter,” said Frolov. “Before he’d get swept away with emotions and do something stupid. To mention each and every one of his stunts. … Something always happens around him, it’s a part of his job. He needs to be talked about. He loves it, he feels at home in the spotlight. Sometimes he called opponents ‘black monkeys.’ He did a lot of things. I can’t remember all.”
It is uncertain when Frolov is referring to, whether it’s last season in New York, or the several the two players spent together in Los Angeles with the Kings. If it is referring to this past season, these accusations are hard to believe considering Avery has been one of the loudest supporters of marriage equality in New York. Of course that doesn’t mean he may not be a racist, but it makes one wonder.
As Jesse Spector at the New York Daily News points out, at this day and age, if Avery did say something like Frolov claims he did, it would be known immediately thanks to outlets like Twitter.
It is easier to believe if these claims come from their time in L.A., when Avery had a run in with racism in 2005, when he said French players are dirty following a hit by Georges Laraque that left then-teammate Jeremy Roenick with a concussion. “I think it was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not backing anything up,” said Avery.
It may be my unabashed support for Avery, but it is difficult to believe Frolov’s claims. You’d be hard-pressed to find a racist who is in support of gay marriage the way Avery is, as well as his social standing with the fashion and entertainment world.