Letter: Violence in junior hockey

Given the laxity of rules, the officials are bound…to allow such mayhem.

To the editor:

As a devout hockey fan, sports writers and coaches leave me wondering about the future of the game. When will the sport of the game be separated from the needless violence of fists to the head?

Living in a vibrant hockey town where the Memorial Cup is the ‘holy grail’ I’m increasingly left with the post game question: What constructive purpose does fighting serve beyond attracting fight goons to the game?

I’ll bet that there are more true fans turned away from the game by needless violence than those attracted to such antics.

Then there is the fact of concussions and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) that have cut short the promising careers of many talented players. We now know with scientific certainty that this is a fact of facilitating, if not promoting, such needless violence.

Hockey coaches, managers and owners ought to be taken to task on this issue. Football, soccer, basketball and even international hockey have outlawed fighting. Yet the mandarins in control of Canadian hockey continue to leave their heads stuck ‘where the sun don’t shine,’ a condition technically known as cerebral-rectal-inversion.

The problem exists to the extreme with the molding of younger players eager for a chance at the big time. These are strong young men, filled with youthful energy and drive. They do not practise endless hours and come to the rink to sit on the bench. Theirs is a youthful willingness to please and be recognized. Teenage minds in strong bodies, these are ready victims for the careless direction of adult management, urged on by the roar of those paying for blood-sport entertainment.

At a recent WHL hockey game our hometown Rockets entertained us with some fast-action, skilled play until gloves were allowed, by officials, to drop. Given the laxity of rules, the officials are bound, by implicit consent of the management, to allow such mayhem.

In the Nov. 3 edition of the Kelowna Daily Courier our blood lust is further entertained by a three column spread glorifying the event, while detailing the trading of punches.

The true result; Two key Kelowna players were seriously injured and unable to continue play. A third player was luckily able to continue after he “iced his knuckles in the penalty box.”

The true fact: Each of these young players and their parents have signed waivers that relieve management of having to provide any protection or guidance to young minds from needless violence. Playing their hearts out for no wages and little thanks, these are courageous but vulnerable young men. (While perhaps not an apt analogy, one is reminded of the world of Fagan in Dicken’s Oliver.)

The coach’s recorded comment: “It’s part of hockey. Good on him for doing it—that’s a testament to his character. Good on those guys for dropping the gloves.”

Would you send your child to a school where the teacher gave such encouragement to pupils on the playground? Why not? After all, you could probably raise more money from tickets than with a school bake sale.

Such are the questions of this season ticket holder. Ya gotta wonder!

Ian Sisett, Kelowna


Just Posted

Okanagan makes Top 5 of least affordable home markets list

The Okanagan is the fourth least affordable place in Canada to buy property on a single income

Kelowna summit will connect employers and immigrants

A session will be held tomorrow from 12 to 3 p.m. at the downtown library

Suspected overdose, poisoning calls jump in Okanagan

BCEHS statistics show calls rose last year in Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon

Stargate armour debuts at Kelowna expo

The Kelowna Fan Experience will feature Jaffa armour from Stargate SG-1

West Kelowna resident missing

Police are concerned for the health and well-being of a 21-year-old West Kelowna man

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Murder charge upgraded for man accused in Toronto gay village death

Man accused the death of a woman in the Toronto gay village had charge upgraded after new evidence

Traffic stop in Malakwa leads to arrests

Three in custody suspected of jewellery theft

Former NHL player Theo Fleury visits B.C. First Nations community

Abuse survivor Theo Fleury has been working with communities focusing on healing since 2009 and visited Esketemc First Nation in the Cariboo this week.

A B.C. council takes action in wake of former municipal politician’s sentencing

Dave Murray was sentenced to nine months for a sexual assault that occurred 26 years ago.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Peachland seniors club adds line dancing

Looking for something to do in your senior years? Check out the Peachland club

Most Read