I apologize to Eklund and Hockeybuzz if this is a blog they don’t want up. Considering the political climate in the world right now, I’m not sure if I’d want this on my website. I mean, I agree with what I’m about to write, but it seems like the world is a very angry place now, and lives are being ruined over what people think and how people feel. It’s not my intention to create a controversy by posting this.
I had to throw a few people off of my Twitter page tonight because I got sick of hearing Islamophobic comments and comments directed at me explaining how stupid I am for not believing in the Illuminati. The comments came mostly from people who started following me when I was a, let’s say, successful hockey blogger on a very popular website. I enjoyed talking hockey with them, because I enjoy talking hockey with everyone. That’s what I do: Talk hockey. I also talk a lot about politics and my unhappiness of the way the world is today. My unhappiness is more disappointment than anger. I think the world could be a wonderful place if people let it be and worked for it. I’ve seen and experienced a few things in life, good and bad… enough to realize a person’s world is usually a reflection of themselves. Those people who are constantly angry need to look at themselves in the mirror before they start blaming everyone else for the way they feel.
America… the world, really… Is going through a really combative identity crisis. Everyone is so angry. We’ve grown so angry, in fact, that we don’t know any more who to be angry at. Some of this anger is coming out as being specifically targeted at identifiable population groups. If you’ve been following world politics you’ll know there are violent angry white supremacy groups; angry anti-fascists; people think Muslims are the problem and the only ones capable of terrorism. Some people are blaming the world economy and the size of their paycheques on the Russians, or the Chinese… It’s all so much insanity and it’s tearing the world apart.
I’m a social media addict. I started using Hockeybuzz sometime around 2007 because it was advanced in the way it approached hockey debate and discussion. The blogs and attached comments section provided a place for hockey fans from anywhere to throw punches at each other. These are, about 99.9999% of the time, “happy” punches. Hockey fans love to mix it up over their favorite teams and players. It’s all very harmless and fun. Hockey brawls aren’t threatening to world stability. They don’t make it so people don’t feel safe to be themselves or to exist.
Twitter and Facebook pages are an open-forum and resemble the comments section on this page, only people will discuss anything they want. Well, I suppose people can discuss anything on Hockeybuzz if they want to, but the point of this site is the sport of the hockey, and therefore, hockey fans are attracted to it. Twitter and Facebook attract everyone. The brawls become very personal, and often the discussion matter goes into territory that isn’t all fun to discuss. For example, I am not a Christian, but I have no want to see Christians made fun of or insulted. It seems like on social media, the believers battle the non-believers, and it isn’t a trivial discussion. It’s full-on people calling each other stupid and worthless.
Faith is at the core of almost everyone on the planet, even if you believe there is no god. Once someone loses their faith in being, it takes a very long time to get it back. It is entirely purposeless to attack someone over their beliefs because they are personal and personally defined. All brawling does is build hate.
When I was a child, my favorite player was Grant Fuhr. It never occurred to me he was black. All I saw was a guy who could stop any puck. I wore his jersey. I’d try to make saves like him. Every time I saw him interviewed or out in the community, he seemed like a good guy. On a team that offered Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri, the goalie was my favorite.
There were mongers in the NHL when I was a child. Most of them were anti-Russian. We look back now and we’ll say how ridiculous that was. Do you think a Malkin fan cares if he’s Russian? Russian, Canadian, American, who cares? Black or white or any shade in between, who cares? Gay or straight, who cares? Christian, atheist or Musilim, who cares? Can you shoot the puck? Can you make a save?
I like to cheer for players who are good people in the community. It has nothing to do with sports performance, I realize, but I like to think the players I like are good people. Even controversial players like PK Subban, who happens to be black, happen to be a good person. Subban gave $10 million to a hospital in Montreal once. I don’t know of many white NHL players who do that sort of thing.
You see things like Charlottesville and how people are acting since then, and your heart breaks a little because you know happiness is being beaten out of the world. Everyone is freaking out at Donald Trump, and he’s definitely negative a reflection of the political climate in the US, but he’s just one man and racism and bigotry is not a new disease. Hate to break it to you, but the problem is bigger and older than him.
There is hope in the world, thanks to things like professional sports. Consider for a moment at one time there were Negro baseball leagues. That’s gone. I don’t know of one single person who wants there to be a white league and a different league for players of other colors. Nazem Kadri is Muslim. I know it sounds so stupid for me to point that out. People know he’s Muslim, and that will encourage other Muslim children to try hockey. Hockey players become friends with other hockey players, and learning to work together and be together makes it so people learn a bit about what the world really is and who people really are.
If I said to you all white people are white supremacists because of Charlottesville, you’d tell me to get bent because the actions of those few hundred there do not represent… at all… the attitude of almost everyone in the nation. Just like the actions of a few Muslim jihadists don’t represent the majority of Muslims. I can’t believe I need to explain this stuff in 2017, but here we are.
I don’t want to fight brawls with people on my Twitter timeline over what groups of people deserve to live or die. I’m perfectly willing to discuss a bench-clearing brawl between Penguins and Flyers fans. Why? Because these groups don’t actually hate and don’t actually want to see the other dead. Hockey is not real life; it’s just something fun. Running over people is real life, and it’s ugly. Letting millions die in Syria or North Korea because we’re too selfish to get involved is real life, and it’s ugly.
There’s supposedly nine rallies planned for Saturday. Nine groups of people around America are going to get together to hurt each other over something that will never ever happen again; how to segregate others who don’t agree with our personal view of the world. It’s so childish and ridiculous.
The people running this show need to love their people and their country enough to stop the madness.
If you feel so much anger inside your soul that you need to act on it, go buy a hockey stick, rollerblades and a tennis ball. Then fire that ball against a garage door several times until you’re exhausted or break a neighbor’s window. Anything is better than beating on someone else with a baseball bat.
And if you can’t skate, just stay home and hug your kids a little harder.
Professional athletes have the power to influence others and change the world. I hope they start to stand up and tell the world that all of this hate isn’t okay.