Koivu to French politicians: “Regardez my killer Francais, bitches”

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French Canadian politicians attempted to wade into the NHL again, accusing Montreal captain Saku Koivu of not speaking French and thereby subjecting Quebec to the horrors (horrors!) of English. Right. If Koivu wants to play in Montreal, this Finnish guy who already speaks three languages, he should have to learn French with an Eastern townships accent, play the spoons, suck syrup from trees, and hate Jews like the rest of Quebec. Koivu did his part, however, putting together some French for a few reporters but sounding a little like Ed Braodbent. Koivu, who beat cancer and savage eye injuries, is clearly unafraid of conjugating a few verbs.

That the French politicians targeted the guy who won the Clancy award for humanitarianism is a mystery. There’s a whole lot worse going on the world: Darfur, Iraq, Al Qaeda, and, lately, the Philadelphia Flyers.

You’d think the Quebec politicians should have learned their lessons by now. On a slow news day in December 2005, Denis Coderre, a Quebec-based member of parliament (Americans: this is congress), first waded into NHL politics when he wanted Shane Doan barred from Canada’s Olympic squad after Doan allegedly yelled a racial epithet at a French-Canadian ref. Doan, a tremendously respected player and a religious Christian who claimed he hadn’t used the word “fuck” in years, denied it and launched a $210,000 defamation suit. He promised to donate all of it to charity if he won.

As for Koivu’s situation, his francophone coach, Guy Carboneau had this to say: “As long as [he] speaks English and understands me, that’s all I’m asking.”

16 Responses

  1. I am embarassed sometimes to be a Quebecker.

  2. “…this Finnish guy who already speaks two languages, he should have to learn French…”

    Koivu actually speaks three languages already… Finnish, English, and Swedish. French would be his fourth.

  3. Thanks for the heads up, Greg S. I’ve changed the post to reflect his proficiency in Swedish.

    J

  4. Here’s what I think: Finnish is a true sui generis among languages. Meaning it’s genesis is constantly in debate and it’s hard as fuck to speak and learn. I mean, some words have like 13 consonants in a row. That alone should exempt Koivu from having to lower himself to speak French, the language of pastry, whores and corrupt politicians.

  5. this Finnish guy who already speaks three languages, he should have to learn French with an Eastern townships accent, play the spoons, suck syrup from trees, and hate Jews like the rest of Quebec.

    perfect, man! Alothough you shold probably add blacks to the list of hated people as well. As Kid Canada said on Deadspin,
    “This is really big news considering he’s been the captian for EIGHT years” (or something to that effect)

  6. People in Quebec don’t hate jews, there are a ton of jews in Montreal, people in Quebec hate muslims. Let’s get this straight.

  7. [...] introduced himself in French to 21,000 fans at Montreal’s Bell Centre Thursday night after yesterday’s shitstorm with Canadian politicians. “Ici Saku Koivu, voici mon equipe,” he said. (Saku Koivu here, this is my team.) The [...]

  8. “People in Quebec don’t hate jews, there are a ton of jews in Montreal, people in Quebec hate muslims. Let’s get this straight.”

    this is how we can figure it out: Get the Jews and Muslims in Montreal to play a hockey game against each other where small arms are allowed and see who the Quebeckers cheer for… and while we’re at it, if the Quebeckers want the muslim women in the stands to remove their headscarves to watch the game then they have to take off their toques as well.

  9. What racist comment did he utter? Did he call someone a “frog?’ Boo hoo. Those frogs are wimps.

  10. [...] charity work, Cherry let the French fucks know what he thought about them slagging Saku Koivu for not speaking the language that has given us place-names like mange-le-castor: “You’re insecure and you’re [...]

  11. [...] that Grade 3 concussions lead to stronger bilingual skills. Why, to the best of our knowledge, Saku Koivu hasn’t had any Grade 3 [...]

  12. I’m sure that if a French Canadian capitain of a team anywhere else in Canada or the US spent 12 years introducing his team mates to the crowd in FRENCH, without bothering to say a few words to the peasants in the arena in the local jargon, i.e., ENGLISH, you and would be outraged. No one would find that acceptable. So lay off the French Canadians, who have been incredibly patient. Koivu plays is the captain of a team in a city with a 3/4 French-speaking population, in a province where 85% of the people speak French. Don’t be so insensitive!

  13. Patrick, welcome to the discussion…that happened several weeks ago. Clearly, you missed the point: It’s not about Koivu, it’s not about Montreal, and it’s not about the franchise. It’s about Quebec politicians taking aim at irrelevant crap when they should be figuring out how to catch racists from burning Jewish bible camps and how to make bridges that don’t fall down. But maybe you missed those news hits too.

  14. So it’s not about Koivu. Apparently it’s about politicians (and, according to some sort of twisted logic, about “racists burning Jewish bible camps” and “how to make bridges that don’t fall down”). Give me a break! It certainly is about Koivu speaking English (only) to hockey fans in a predominantly French-speaking city. If a high-profile politician in any other Canadian province were asked to comment on a local team captain speaking FRENCH only to English fans for the past 12 years, I don’t think anyone would get on their high horses and say that the issue “is about the provincial politicians.” The issue was in fact raised here by a rather crazy lawyer who loves to get media attention (not by a politician), and the PQ leader, Pauline Marois, gave a very vague answer to a point-blank question from a reporter. If your real problem is with the existence of Quebec and the French language, maybe you should launch an Anglo-supremecist site (or could that already be your hidden agenda?).

  15. Congratulations: of the many thousand of visitors to Way Offside, you alone have discovered our hidden Anglo supremacy agenda. Two of us are bilingual, however, and we’re actively trying to forget as much French as possible. But we’re having trouble forgetting the facts. Or the news. Or the fact that Quebec has much bigger problems than the captaincy of the Canadiens (that was that bit about camp burnings and bridges falling down). Or that the Habs’ Francophone coach conducts 100 percent of his hockey business in English. Or that if this is so important to Quebeckers, why don’t they make Begin the captain? Or that this doesn’t matter to anyone but you.

  16. so on these same lines, will olli jokinen and mike modano have to start speaking spanish?

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