NHL player Raffi Torres has come under fire from various critics and bloggers for being racist because of his Halloween costume.
At the Phoenix Coyote annual Halloween party, Torres dressed as Jay-Z while his wife dressed as Beyonce. Torres appeared to have darkened his skin with some sort of brown paint to look more in character.
Thomas Drance, writer for the Canucks Army wrote:
"Seriously people, don't do it, don't wear black-face on Halloween, or ever. It's stupid, it's ignorant, and it just doesn't fly. Even if Raffi's halloween costume bears little resemblance to the blackface of minstrel shows, the subject is too loaded to be a source of humour. It's off limits."
Teammates and fellow players have come to Torres' defense with Paul Bissonnette saying on his Twitter, "As far as everyone trying to call "Racism" because Raffi dressed up like Jay-Z can simmer down. He's a huge Jay-Z fan."
Torres has experienced racism while playing hockey himself. He is the first NHL player of Mexican and Peruvian descent despite looking very light skinned.
The players mother was once told her son "should be selling tacos" instead of playing hockey.
The Christian Post asked people on Facebook how they felt, and the responses were all in favor of Raffi Torres’ decision.
Chris Bahamonde said "If your going to dress up as someone for halloween you have to go all in, I dont think any of it has to do with being racist. I just call it ignorance on those reading too deep into it."
Josephine Rodriguez felt the same way, "if you are going to call everyone that dressed up a racist because of the costume they wore than you are just plain ignorant. Halloween is for doing exactly that. Sometimes people look for stories to stir people up and if it's not brought to the attention of people nothing would come of it. Just enjoy the day and have fun."
Christopher Mandala felt strongly on the subject and brought other examples to hand. "It wasn't Blackface. Blackface by definition is using a literally black face as an offensive caricature. He used brown paint for a more realistic skin tone for the costume. There was no caricature here. Absolutely no difference between ...this and when D-wade went as Justin Timberlake a few years ago or any teenage girl who painted herself orange to dress as Snookie."
Nick DePalo couldn't understand how it was racist. "How is that racist? If a black person wore a George Bush or Charlie Sheen mask that would be hilarious, not racist. How can a white girl be Nicki Minaj and that's completly different? I don't get america."
Daniel Cummings said to look at the intentions and character of the person before jumping to conclusions. Then said, "I got a feeling Jay z doesn't care to much I mean cmon he's a icon."
Emily-Cosette Divito felt that all Halloween costumes should be questioned if people are going to pick on one. "You could have 1000 arguments over the costumes they come up with now a days."