We’re done with Steve Simmons

You might consider forgiving a long-standing mainstream sports columnist for repetitive jabs at the local silly professional sports team, and especially at its young, somewhat different manager. When a team misses the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons, they should bear the shame. But when that team turns it around under new management, you would expect they get a fair shake in the columns. Four years making the playoffs, four years posing a threat to the title, with the younger players growing more experienced, showing their maturity in leadership roles, and with management patching old messes left by predecessors, you might expect a long-standing columnist to understand things are getting better. 

You might consider forgiving this columnist for fabricating, or at least embellishing a story about a local superstar athlete eating an unhealthy diet of mostly hot dogs bought from the stand outside his apartment. There was no corroboration and, as a matter of fact, there were a wealth of reputable refutations to the story. But, look, people make mistakes, and this superstar had only recently signed a sizable extension with the local silly team. A columnist might have thought they were doing their duty, reporting truths when no one else would. In that vein, however, you might think the columnist, upon learning the truth, would’ve recanted, or at least not reaffirmed the falsities in his book. 

You might consider forgiving this columnist for reporting private health details about another local superstar athlete in the middle of a pandemic. Journalistic ethics would’ve had it that this columnist reach out for details from player or team prior to publishing, or at least honour the player’s inalienable privacy rights as a human being. But this columnist is first and foremost a truth-seeker. After all, he does work for the local old-school rag, and where else can you find one page per week dedicated to a bikini girl only a few turns away from totally unbiased ministerial criticism. 

You might consider forgiving this columnist for publishing tweets calling a Hall of Fame inductee idiotic for attending to previously organized affairs rather than Hall of Fame events early in his induction weekend. Hall of Fame induction surely must be the greatest honour that can be bestowed on a hockey person, so how could a hockey man skip an early event in favour of fulfilling prior obligations? This columnist is at least principled and he, pursuant to his rag’s mandate, doesn’t believe in the freedom to choose. 

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You might consider forgiving this columnist for posing an abjectly racist question masquerading as an innocent whattaboutism to the black leader of the local championship professional sports organization in his season ending press conference. To be fair to the truth-seeker, the most pressing question following the team’s championship season and subsequent miracle season, after having lost their superstar for nothing, all performed before the backdrop of police brutality and violent response to non-violent protest against the former, should of course have been about what the team would do to fight black on black crime in the local city. It is, after all, the constitution of this columnists paper to obfuscate and misdirect the truth for the purposes of its masters. 

You might consider forgiving this columnist, but you certainly shouldn’t. Because like Warmington, Levy, and Lilley, among his other salient Toronto Sun cohorts, Steve Simmons, first and foremost, is going to act like a jackass. He has not earned your ear, and he has not earned your forgiveness. He has not earned his place in the mainstream Toronto sports lexicon. Steve Simmons is a standout in an embarrassing cast of characters with far too much access and no gift of gab. Toronto culture will be much better off without him.