|Montreal Canadien Fans
Thursday night, a large number of Montreal fans, voicing displeasure with the
war in Iraq, booed throughout the Star Spangled Banner, the American national
anthem, before a game against the New York Islanders.
president Pierre Boivin issued a statement Friday, apologizing on behalf of the
organization for the conduct of ''certain fans.''
Saturday, the team
asked Beliveau to record statements in French and English, which were played on
the arena's video scoreboard before the singing of both anthems.
''During these difficult times, many have an opinion on world
affairs,'' Beliveau said. ''Nevertheless, the Montreal Canadiens have been
proud to honor both Canada and the United States prior to games for over 50
years, and they hope to maintain this outstanding display of
''Please, join us here at the Bell Centre in the singing
of both national anthems to celebrate the game of hockey. Thank you, and have a
Mark Parrish of he Islanders, a native of Bloomington,
Minnesota, was upset hearing the boos.
"I came to the game pretty
pumped up, but once I heard that it really got me going,'' Parrish said.
"So I guess I can thank them a little bit for getting me more pumped
Parrish later added on The Sports Network of Canada: "If it wasn't
for America, God knows what language they'd be speaking now."