Year after year the growth of the women’s game continues to evolve. Participation increases, respect is slowly generated; nonetheless, as in many aspects of our society equality for men and women in hockey still seems like a distant entity.
Unless you have been living under a rock you are aware that Kendall Coyne Schofield showed the NHL and all of its fans that she is fast, not ‘for a girl’, FAST period. End of story. And Brianna Decker, she beat every single All-Star in the passing challenge in San Jose, including Leon Draisaitl who was awarded the $25,000 prize for coming in first.
Their performances and exposure at NHL All-Star Weekend inspired yet another generation of young female athletes. Young girls began lacing up skates for the first time, or continued to practice their skills in hopes of becoming like those women they saw on the TV.
For those of us who have followed, and appreciated the women’s game for years, it was a relief to finally see these women get the recognition they deserve. But also a reminder of how far we still have to go.
Kyla Lane put it best:
Stop putting down the incredible performance of female hockey players last night just because "they'll get crushed in the NHL".
We're not asking for them to join the NHL, we're asking for them to be respected in their own leagues because they're damn good at hockey.
— Kyla J Lane (@KylaJLane) January 26, 2019
It’s time to reignite the momentum of support created by All-Star Weekend, time to show the TV networks and the world that women’s hockey can be, and is, the main event. Today we have an opportunity to make a tangible difference. Money and viewers is said to be the downfall of the women’s game. And viewers equal money in the eyes of TV networks.
All you have to do is turn on your TV, that’s it. Turn on your TV and watch a rivalry like no other. Canada vs USA hockey—it doesn’t get any better.
We can write blog posts, talk about how we appreciate and value the women’s game all day long, but without action there will be no change.
Luckily for all of you, the only action needed to make a difference this week is to turn on your TV and watch hockey. Good hockey.
Rivalry Series dates:
February 12 4/7pm pt/et
TSN 2 & NHL Network
February 14 4/7pm pt/et
TSN 4 & NHL Network
February 17 9am/12pm pt/et
TSN 3/5 & NHL Network
There is no denying numbers. Together we can make the TV ratings speak for themselves. And then maybe we won’t have to wait so long between opportunities to watch. These women will finally get the respect and recognition they deserve.
Watch this series because you support women, because you want to make a difference and most importantly, because you love hockey.
Feature Image photo credit: Hockey Canada