Craig Wilson is a 46-year-old former high school hockey star who lives and works in Augusta. He has a 12-year-old son, Cameron, who is a pretty good youth hockey player.

Craig and Cameron Wilson happen to be black. So when Craig Wilson heard of the racist tweets that followed the Boston Bruins’ overtime loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the NHL playoffs Wednesday night, he paid attention.

Joel Ward scored the winning goal. Tweeters saw a black man first, a hockey player second. They saw a black man take away the Bruins’ last chance to retain the Stanley Cup.

A black man playing a sport overwhelmingly white. The ugly n-word appeared in the tweets. Haven’t we made any progress?

“We really shouldn’t be surprised. It happened in Boston,” said Craig Wilson.

“I lived in the city a few years. I’d like to think there’s less racism but it still exists.”

His son wants to be singled out by how well he skates, handles the puck and shoots. Identify him by his skills and his stats, not his skin color.

Most Mainers can’t understand. Most Mainers are not a minority and we have so few examples. Gerald Coleman was a goalie when the Portland Pirates were affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks. Kendall McArdle was a winger with the Pirates for part of this past season.

Wednesday night’s tweets were from fans, not Bruins players. While the n-word may be tossed around the ice, white players see that as part of their trash-talking culture. That’s wrong. Say something else.

If you can make an opponent come unglued by talking about his mother, wife, facial features or race, you do it. Some only worry about the consequences when and if they come.

“I got called names,” said Craig Wilson. “When we went through the line shaking hands, I’d whisper in the guy’s ear. ‘Keep your head up the next time we play.’ I didn’t forget.”

Wilson is a youth hockey coach and president of Icon Environmental Consultants in Augusta. He played for Cony High in the early 1980s and tried out for the University of Maine team.

“I was fifth line. I got to play in the Blue-White game, didn’t go to away games and was practice fodder.”

His father is Tim Wilson, the educator, coach, administrator and retired director of the Seeds of Peace camp, bringing Arab and Israeli youth together each summer.

Tim Wilson was the first black running back at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. Wiping spit away while playing in West Virginia is a memory.

He’s seen change. Just not enough. He’s seen the profiling. Craig Wilson was tall as a boy. He was encouraged to try out for the basketball team.

Tim Wilson has seen so much of people’s perceptions of others. He wasn’t surprised when he learned of the tweets.

“We are now a mean, vindictive society,” said Tim Wilson. “We have more haves and have-nots.”

Tim Wilson grew up in Pittsburgh, the son of an unschooled but intelligent custodian at a steel mill.

His old neighborhood was not far from the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, better known as The Igloo, where the Penguins played their hockey games.

Wilson was asked years ago to help form a youth hockey association for the neighborhood.

He ran into roadblocks. Hockey was a suburban sport, he was told by people with the money and the power.

Meaning, hockey was a white sport. Wilson need not waste his time.

“Sports is about opportunity,” he says. “You put a minority kid in a pool with a coach and he can become a great swimmer. Put a kid of color on the ice and he can became a great hockey player.”

Tim Wilson’s three sons didn’t run to him when they heard the n-word some 25 years ago. Dad does remember noticing an opponent or two down on the ice. Must have been a hard hip check.

“I don’t know if Cameron hears it,” says Craig Wilson. “I don’t hear that from him.

“I just want to see the day we don’t hear it at all, but that may not come in my generation.”