This is not hockey (at least for me)

Today in the National Post, Joe O’Connor wrote a paper with which I totally disagree. Nevertheless (or « nonobstant » as we say in Quebec), it is worth to be read: « Hockey player suspended for on-ice ‘bullying’ a victim of wider culture wars« .  But it is also worth to be read, the e-mail I immediately wrote to Joe O’Connor:

Dear Sir,

Coincidentally, I was in Toronto to talk on CBC about my book « Hockey as a religion » when I read your paper. I really appreciate your point of view, even if I totally disagree with you. I would like to use your words to turn the story in a different way.
Imagine a 17 years old guy who « starts punching » (« once, twice, three swings ») a guy he randomly chose, a guy who is « declining to fight back », just because « the atmosphere was charged » and because the other guy comes from a « near enough » town that he does « not really like ». Would you call him « mature beyond his years »? Would you consider him « your ideal role model »?
For my part, I would like to understand why on a « Sunday night », the same Josh Maguire who was « used to cry after his lacrosse games because he hated knocking the smaller kids over », who quit lacrosse because « he didn’t want to hurt anybody », felt he was right to punch Henri Ikonen who « held fast to his stick and gloves, declining to fight back », just because he was playing hockey?
Sincerely yours,

Olivier Bauer

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