Thursday November 27, 2014

No anti-bullying message coming from NHL


The Editor:

You haven't heard from me since my rant on plastic bottles was eclipsed by garbage collection (shake my head), but as I sit here after watching most of this week's NHL playoffs, I am struck by the irony.

We spent most of the week prior to the playoffs in pink shirts supporting anti-bullying yet this behaviour is okay on the ice because it's “just part of the game.”

That is total crap.

Then we, as fans, post things on the Internet making fun of other teams because of their behaviour. Is that any better?

“Ya son, don't make fun of other kids, accept them for who they are ... now just a second while Daddy posts this picture of the Vancouver Canucks Diving Team.”

I grew up around hockey ... real hockey, and yes, we had bullies or enforcers, but there was respect. You didn't hit the goalie, you certainly didn't spin him around like a top. You didn't spear a guy just because he grabbed your sweater. You didn't punch someone in the back of the head while he was already in an altercation. You didn't take a spearing penalty because you were frustrated, you didn't put your knee on a guy's back and pound him in the head. You didn't sharpen your elbows on each other and you certainly didn't swat a hockey glove away from a player when he was going to pick it up. Brutal behaviour.

We appreciated enforcers because they came out to fight because a rule had been broken, and they fought ... not this cheap junk we see now, especially when we know how dangerous head shots can be.
The NHL is getting progressively worse. I say they have to man up, play smart and take advantage of situations, not retaliate. Playing smart does not mean no hitting or fighting ... of course that is going to happen. There are just smarter ways to go about it.

How can we teach the generations after us not to bully if we can't set an example? I think the saddest thing about this is knowing that somewhere deep down, we, as society did this. We wanted more WWE, more drama so hey, why not give a guy a bonus if he takes their best player out in the first round? These players are paid millions in some cases to do a job. But that job should be to play hockey.

Yes, hockey is just one of many sports that have grown increasingly violent, but for me the recent play is a sour note. We need to be better. We deserve better. We deserve good, smart players who inspire us to do better, not to angrily lash out when the game isn't going our way.

As most of us know by now, life rarely goes our way or is fair, but as people it's up to us to change what we can. We have to be fair, we have to be smart, but most of all, we have to learn to stand behind what we say. To say we support our kids for anti-bullying and then behave like this, is just wrong.

Robin Godfrey



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