Social media is often the perfect place from which to observe the absolute worst in humanity, where basic civility and common sense are cast aside in lieu of hot takes, offensive garbage and just plain stupidity.
And then, every once in a while, it provides a ray of hope that maybe, just maybe, things might actually be OK and that the world is made up of mostly good and decent people. This example actually provides both.
On Tuesday, the Eskimos announced they were inviting 25 youth from the Islamic Society of Edson to attend Friday’s game against the B.C. Lions. The kids attend a mosque in a town 200km west of Edmonton that was set ablaze last week in what authorities believe is an intentional case of arson. It was other words, a hate crime, and the gesture by the Esks was a good one.
Well, one guy on Twitter took exception because there is always one guy on Twitter ready to take exception to anything.
Sheldon Daurie’s Twitter account and Facebook page feature support for Donald Trump and Confederate flags so his opposition to inviting kids from the mosque to attend a football game is hardly surprising and not particularly newsworthy. But the replies to that Tweet? The replies to that Tweet are the best.
More than 70 people and counting responded to Daurie, voicing their support for the Eskimos move and calling him out for his racism and intolerance. The message from real Eskimo fans: don’t let the door hit you in your racist ass on the way out.
Bye, Sheldon. We don’t want you a part of #EE anyway
— Allison Currie (@AlleyDalley) June 27, 2018
I'm a Stamps fan and will follow EE and applaud them for this move. #DiversityIsStrength
— Deb Strickland (@DebStrickland65) June 27, 2018
— Rob (@Lloydguy82) June 27, 2018
When did you learn so much hate?
Nobody is born with the anger and intolerance you have.
The Eskimos have a long tradition of excellence and service to the community. You’re not worthy of being an Eskimos ‘fan.’
Please take your 13 followers with you.
— ((( H K S ))) (@Klayoven) June 27, 2018
See ya! The world needs more people like the Esks organization and fewer people like you.
— McJenny (@ginny_jenny) June 27, 2018
— D. (@rockstar_baby) June 27, 2018
Profile picture says proud to be Canadian but Canada is embarrassed to be associated with you
— Jordan (@wpgfeasey) June 27, 2018
Your hate is not welcome here. #OneEmpire
— jedi chick (@JediChick79) June 27, 2018
Good! Cya. It's funny how your photos says proud to be Canadian. Canadians don't act like this.
— Scotty Knaughty (@ScottyKnaughty) June 27, 2018
Again, that’s just a small portion of a still-growing parade of responses and it doesn’t include the ones that “may contain offensive content” which are pretty much the same, just wayyyyy more emphatic in their delivery.
Anyway, two points here: 1) good on the Edmonton Eskimos for a gesture, however small, aimed at building a more inclusive society after a terrible event and 2) props to the CFL online community for calling out a racist for being a racist while providing a much-needed reminder that sometimes social media can be used as a force for good.