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Loving Women’s Hockey Is Not A Crime

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"If you are interested in women’s hockey, it’s because you don’t understand anything to men’s"
. If this sentence sounds familiar, well, you are not alone. Even with the hockey leagues actions all over the world, let’s face  reality. Women’s hockey is still living with a cliché.

I was reading an article on an American website – I will not tell you its name – which is well known for its swimsuit edition, by the way. And on a pop-up, I saw an article which said the following:

"Philapelphia Flyers ice-girls". Instead of making an article about this artifice, those media should be more about the NWHL All-Star Game where we saw beautiful plays … But sports, like society, is gendered.

A girl who likes hockey is "supposed" to watch games from the bleacher, act like she’s a puck bunny. According to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary it’s "a young female hockey fan, especially one motivated more by a desire to meet the players than by an interest in hockey."

Just wondering: Is it normal to call thus, a young female hockey fan while male hockey fans are seen as "hockey fans"? Well, that’s what we can call sexism.

And what about the common idea that female hockey players are lesbian? 

Recently, a manager of a national hockey team confessed to our team, anonymously. He told about the position of female hockey and what the coaches of the league think about it: "It’s getting better. Federations are working hard. But don’t be fooled. Some coaches are not willing to add women on their roster. For them, it’s simple, women are supposed to watch the game. Not to play it."

Also, may I remind you that Don Cherry, dropped a bomb – pun intended – by saying in 2013 during his segment on CBC named Coach Corner "I don’t believe women should be in the male dressing room" on female reporters.

Lately, a friend of mine asked me why I loved hockey. That question made me smile.

Hockey is not about  gender, or money. It’s all about  moments that last a lifetime. I smiled when Marie-Philip Poulin scored the overtime goal for Team Canada in the 2014 Olympics finals against USA. I was sorry when Denna Laing fell after a horrible injury in the 2015 Winter Classic, and then fought back to become an inspiration. I felt it was  a historic moment when Harrison Browne came out as a transgender man breaking a huge barrier in sports. I was delighted when the Boston Blades lifted the first Clarkson Cup of their history.

This is what’s women’s hockey is all about. Real emotions. True dedication.

So, if next time you hear someone who’s mocking you – or chirping you in the hockey jargon – for getting an interest about women’s hockey, you’d better tell them this simple sentence. 

Hockey is for everyone.

Thomas Woloch

Photo Credit : Matthew Rane

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