Jonathan Bernier and Nelson Mandela

I know that i’m late to the party with this one. The thing is that I hate to beat a man when he’s already down. I figured enough time has elapsed since that now famous interview. I’m talking about NHL hockey player Jonathan Bernier and how he answered a reporter during an evening in honour of Nelson Mandela. I’m pretty sure that I don’t need to explain who the latter is, right ?

The interview in question:

Reporter1 (SportsNet mic): Alright Jonathan, how important is, uh, the legacy of Nelson Mandela to you?

JB: Well obviously he’s been, uh, a tremendous, uh, athlete and you know obviously what, uh, he means to all the sports you know when you know the worl- the world can uh be changed by the sports it’s pretty amazing. And I think he’s definitely uh got a lot of respect in every sports and uh he’s definitely one of the athletes I watched growing up as well.

Reporter1’s mic disappears from frame

Reporter2: Why is it important for you to come show support tonight?

JB: Well I think any good cause is, uh, sorry (he’s apologizing to someone to the left of the screen, not sure who/why), it’s always, uh, you know I love supporting, uh, any kind of cause obviously it’s for the Afri-, in Africa it’s obviously it’s, uh, a great cause, and enjoying, I guess, the basketball game.

Reporter2: Thanks.

The interview is too painful to watch so I spared you all the video clip.

This brings me to my point of this sad story. How can a 26 year old educated man not know who Nelson Mandela is ? I’m willing to bet that even some red neck hillbilly from the deep south of America would know who Nelson Mandela is. I have a theory that the school he attended in Laval most likely preferred to add other subjects to the curriculum. It most likely consisted of Quebec history and how we stole the land from the Indians or how René Lévesque got screwed on the “night of long knives” and how Les Canadiens repatriated the constitution without Quebec’s approval.

Never mind the man that spent 27 years of his life in prison because he stuck to his convictions. Never mind the man that ended apartheid in South Africa. Never mind the man that can teach every single child on this planet a lesson of humility, resilience and compassion.

I sincerely hope that this was an isolated occurrence because if not, it speaks to volumes on how backward thinking our education system is in Quebec.



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