Sunday, 28 April 2013

Don Cherry takes on the very settled matter of women reporters in the dressing room

What does Don Cherry have to do to demonstrate that he needs to be put out to pasture?  How much longer does the CBC and Hockey Night in Canada put up with his puerile antics and antediluvian values in the cynical quest for ratings, no matter what rock has to be upturned to find viewers?  Again, HNIC does some things well, but must be blown up and rebuilt before it's too late.

We have in the past opined that if we must have a jokey segment in the first intermission, that comedians knowledgeable on hockey like Brent Butt and/or Norm MacDonald could fill that that role effectively.  Don Cherry might have had shock value decades ago, in that he roared while others would pussyfoot around issues, but he's well past his optimal retirement age, much like Bob Cole.

In this specific instance, Mr. Cherry tried to stick up for Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks for a neanderthal reply to a question posed by a woman reporter.  No matter that Duncan Keith was completely at fault for the incident in question, and how he handled the question from the reporter.  Mr. Cherry inexplicable twisted the issue to one of women in the dressing room, one that has been settled twenty years ago, but apparently he's unable to move past it.  Meanwhile the world has passed him by.

The NHL is a business, a cash cow for the monopolists who run it, and they've decided, like other major league sports, that the dressing room is not a sacrosanct refuge for the players who perform a holy rite, but rather an opportunity to sell more by allowing reporters to enter it and give their product even more free coverage and advertising.  They've long ago decided to trade away the need for privacy and a cooling-off period for their players in return for more column inches.

If this business relies on reporters capturing the rote banalities of the workers minutes after an emotional game, there can be no discrimination on the gender of these reporters.  Women must have access to the room as freely as men do.  They must have equal opportunity to do their job.  That's the law of the land.

This doesn't mean that reporters can poke their nose in the showers and medical rooms, these are off-limits.  The modesty of the players is protected, and that has evolved as the practice of women being able to enter the room has.  There is no need to be prudish about the thought of a lady being aghast at the sight of a naked man and being taken with the vapours.

Decades ago, forward thinking organizations just bought robes for all their players, and dedicated a certain area for undressing and showering.  This is now common, accepted practice in major league sports, you'd think Don Cherry would have noticed, but maybe he's too busy weeping at fallen soldiers.  Or kissing Nazem Kadri.

As long as we don't allow stunt reporters like Inez Sains to cloud the issue, and as long as pro team sports value the free advertising they receive from 'news' organizations like ESPN, there is no controversy here, only the feeble ramblings of a decrepit old man.

1 comment: