Normally, I pay attention to hockey only during the playoffs and think about politics only in relation to blogging. However, the recent Shane Doan 'scandal' has me pissed off enough to want to comment about both. As Jamie Lopes writes, "How much taxpayers' money has been spent on this debate about hockey player Shane Doan? Does the government of Canada not have more pressing issues to discuss in the house?" And I ask, does any of this really matter, considering that Shane Doan is currently in Russia?
In Russia, kicking ass.
I don't care enough about hockey to check, but I'm sure that there are French players playing on the Canadian team with Doan who don't care what he said to those referees. I'm sure that Doan has called those players worse things, and that they've verbally retaliated. In the course of my athletics career, I've said terrible things to people, and had them reply in kind. At the end of the game, win or lose, we'll still look each other in the eye and shake hands. I probably won't be friends with them, but for the most part it stays on the field, the rink, or the court.
Trash talking, whether it's directed at the opposition, the officials, or the fans, is a part of any game.
This fundemental aspect of sports seems to be lost on the politicians. Contrary to what Devin Maxwell thinks, I would like nothing more than to see Shane Doan take a penalty for knocking the teeth out of Jack Layton.
Somehow, I feel I should relate this to blogging or PR or something, so here goes: When you get involved in a physical, emotional game like hockey (as either an official or a player), you expect to get hit and get yelled at. If you can't take it, maybe you should step off the ice. Similarly, if your worried your company or organization might face some sort of criticism (online or not), maybe you shouldn't be in business. It's as simple as that.
UPDATE: I have just recently found out that, contrary to what I thought earlier, there are no French Canadian players on the Canadian national team in Russia right now. That's too bad.
UPDATE 2: In further reading, I have also found out that Shane Doan is apparently a well-spoken man who doesn't believe in swearing or trash-talking. I'll believe it if I ever play against him.