Anger, charities, and priorities
Defending the Blue Line is an awesome charity that helps the children of military families watch hockey, fall in love with hockey, play hockey, and stay involved with hockey. They’ve received quite a bit of support from both the NHL and the NHLPA, among others. On Sunday, the 28th of October, DTBL is holding an event at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena, at which several locked-out NHLers, including Zach Effin Parise, will be present for a game and an auction. Pretty awesome, yes? Well, you think so and I think so and anyone else with common sense thinks so, but it appears that some people do not think so.
You see, some people were thinking of going and they’ve decided not to because they don’t want to support the players because they are angry about the lockout. I don’t want to single anyone out because I don’t want there to be a ‘torches and pitchforks’ pile-up on them but they expressed this sentiment in response to various members of the hockey community promoting the event on Twitter. I do want to call their line of thinking out, though, because it’s… well, really stupid.
We’re all angry about the lockout. We are all angry, depressed, sad, frustrated, annoyed, nervous, worried, etc. about the lockout. But why do the children of military families have to go without playing hockey (which, among other benefits, helps them keep their minds off their family members being deployed) because of that, again? Going to a DTBL event means you are supporting military families, not that you are supporting Zach Parise or his right to want to keep all of the ridiculous amounts of money the hypocrite owner of his team contractually promised him. Staying home means at least 20 or 30 dollars less going to a charity. You are not making a point against the lockout by not going. You are basically putting your interests (specifically, your desire to spend money on a sport that entertains you) over that of kids who would probably really value your help. In a way that won’t make the negotiations move any faster or become less frustrating for you.
Anyway. It’s up to you and you can do what you want with your own money but if you were going to support these kids and now you’ve decided you won’t because the players refuse to lie down and get fucked over by the owners then I don’t know what else to say to you.
Today, October 19, is Spirit Day, a day when people wear purple to support LGBT youth and to help stop bullying. Earlier today, Patrick Burke and the You Can Play Team expressed their thanks to the NHL (and later its clubs) for their support for equality in the locker room. Now, I’m not going to wade through Burke’s or YCP’s mentions, but I’m sure it’s a trainwreck:
I get it. You’re mad at the NHL for locking out its players, you’re mad at the owners for being greedy and depriving you of hockey, you’re mad. I know, I’m mad, too. But the labour dispute and unrelated social causes have nothing to do with each other. It’s pretty cool of any sports league to take a stand for equality and being dicks about it because we’re frustrated about not being able to drop mad coin on the NHL really doesn’t help anybody or anything. I mean, the NBA went purple, too, and how come we’re not piling on them? They locked their players out this time last year, didn’t they?
I hate Rene Bourque. I also hate Zdeno Chara. I hate them a lot. A lot. But if they were to get together and take a stand for or hold a charity event for a cause I believed in, I’d show up, shell out my money to help whoever they were trying to help, and thank them for supporting something I believed in.
It’s important to separate the people who need us (and the things we believe in) from the players and owners we’re sick of and angry with. We’re not supporting either side by supporting a charity or a cause. Let’s get that right.