Defending Female Reporters
So, I’m watching hockey on a Saturday for the first time in forever. With the NHL playoffs about the start and my beloved Sabres eliminated again, I wanted to get primed for one of the most anticipated first round match-ups: Montreal vs Toronto. Of course, since it’s Hockey Night in Canada, the first intermission of the game is highlighted (?) by the latest installment of Coach’s Corner. Now it’s been years and years since I’ve paid any real attention to what Don Cherry says on his weekly soap box performance. He’s a ratings magnet and that’s pretty much why CBC keeps him around.
His usual blustering is pretty mundane: the linesmen need to drop the puck already, icing is going to kill somebody, Ontario boys are the best. And he is forever supporting the military, police and fire departments around the country.
But every now and then he does what the kids call an Epic Fail. In the past he has railed against Europeans, Francophones, and liberal minded people in general. But in tonight’s telecast he decided to air his beliefs on female reporters. Coming to the defense of a player (Duncan Keith) who had a heated (marginally) exchange with a female reporter after a recent loss. Her gender was never really denigrated, instead Keith emphasized the fact that she (like many male reporters) probably doesn’t even play hockey. It was a little blown out of proportion, but everyone had moved on without any hard feelings.
Then Mr. Cherry decides to weight in with the perfect answer - Keep female reporters out of male locker rooms! Wow. Just Wow. Look, I’m not surprised that such a thing came out of the mouth of a 79 year old, conservative, old school hockey type. In fact, I would probably be surprised if he espoused any kind of progressive thoughts on any number of subjects. It’s just that I’m surprised that in 2013 that the CBC still endorses and even celebrates this kind of thinking. The CBC employs a considerable number of female reporters and you have to wonder just how they feel about taking this kind of crap from a guy in crazy suits and who makes 10 times what they make.
Many people have already criticized his comments on twitter and in blog posts. And rightly so. When people say stupid stuff they have to be called on it. Nobody is saying he isn’t entitled to his opinion. Not at all. But he has to be accountable for that opinion, especially if its one that implies that women should be prevented from doing certain types of work, because they’re “Special”.
I’ll admit, Don’s been entertaining to watch over the years. But for me, there have been way to many “What the Hell?” moments and it might be time for him to make a somewhat graceful exit while he still can. Hockey no longer uses black and white telecasts, no longer uses wooden sticks, no longer uses maskless goalies, maybe it no longer has a use for Coach’s Corner. I certainly don’t miss it when I’m watching games on TSN or Sportsnet. Just sayin….
My wife’s version of the #doncherryfail meme