Weekly Links: Voynov charged for domestic violence; Confronting racism in hockey; Ex-owner criticizes CHL’s treatment of junior players; Why the CHWL is great; and more

  • After an ongoing police investigation, the LA Kings’ Slava Voynov is being charged for violence against his spouse. [The Score]
  • Really interesting article by Rick Westhead about the treatment of CHL junior players after they leave hockey, as ex-owner Mario Forgione states that “players are a disposable commodity.” [TSN]
  • The new mascot for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, which depicts a cartoonish Arab man, is drawing criticism. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Hockey players from racial or ethnic minorities are increasingly speaking out about the racist abuse that they face in the sport. A really important story to read. [CBC News]
  • Zoë Hayden has a great post on the CWHL’s appeal in contrast to the NHL. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

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Hockey Research at the 2014 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Conference

One of the things we like to do at Hockey in Society is highlight current sociocultural research about hockey being done by scholars across the globe (you can see various posts related to academic conferences here). Last week, the annual conference for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), a scholarly association for sport sociologists, took place in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but the program is published online, so I am still able to highlight the research being presented that it relevant to the critical study of hockey and its place in society.

After the jump, check out the abstracts from relevant presentations (including from Hockey in Society writers Courtney Szto and Matt Ventresca). Topics include entrepreneurship and the formation of all-Black sport leagues (including the Colored Hockey League in the Canadian Maritimes) in the Reconstruction Era; racialized media media representations of black players, including the Montreal Canadiens’ P.K. Subban; the demise of Hockey Night in Canada and La soirée du hockey and the loss of hockey on Canada’s pubic broadcasters; social media reaction to Punjabi hockey broadcasts; and concussions in sport.

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Weely Links: OHL players suspenced for social media misogyny; Nostalgia and the New York Islanders move to Brooklyn; An interview with Hilary Knight; Toronto Maple Leafs to play in China?; and more

  • Two OHL players, Greg Betzold and Jake Marchment, were suspended for 15 games each after their Tindr conversations with two women, which included a lot of abusive and misogynistic language, were made public. Sunaya Sapurji has a great article on the incident in light of the prevailing cultural attitudes in junior hockey. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Neate Sager’s piece on the incident is also worth reading. [Buzzing the Net]
  • Executives from the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment group are exploring business opportunities in China. There’s also interest in China to host an NHL game there as soon as next season. [TSN]
  • An interview with women’s hockey superstar Hilary Knight. [The Pink Puck]
  • A really interesting look at issues of nostalgia and sense of place concerning the Islanders move from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. [Thought Catalog]
  • Ashley March weighs in on mental illness in hockey, particularly for those countless forgotten players whose careers do not result in well-paid, secure NHL employment. [Canucks Army]

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Weekly Links: Reaction to Voynov’s arrest for domestic violence; Ex-players’ lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League; Szabados and Raty play in men’s pro leagues; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • After a gunman killed a Canadian reservist and attempted an attack on Parliament in Ottawa, the Pittsburgh Penguins played the Canadian anthem before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers as a show of respect. [Sportsnet]
  • The news that Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings had been arrested for domestic violence has generated a huge amount of discussion and debate (currently charges are likely or will be dropped, depending on whether you listen to the DA or to his Voynov’s lawyer). Adam Proteau argues that the NHL should adopt a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence and ban players found guilty of this crime for life. [The Hockey News]
  • Meanwhile, writer stace_ofbase from Battle of California uses the Voynov case to discuss domestic violence more broadly and call for empathy for victims. [Battle of California]
  • NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is receiving kudos, and favourable comparisons to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of Ray Rice’s violent assault, for handling this situation swiftly and suspending Voynov indefinitely until a verdict is reached. I find it sad that this response even needs to be applauded rather than taken as granted, but given the pro sport world’s track record on domestic violence perhaps we need to start by pointing out when a league acts sensibly in response to a new incident. [Puck Daddy; Globe and Mail]
  • For those wondering about the moral quandary of cheering for athletes who do bad things off the ice/court/field, this scholarly roundtable discussion (written in light of the Ray Rice case) is fascinating reading. [The Allrounder]

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Weekly Links: Reaction to Rogers’ NHL broadcast mega-deal; CWHL to be broadcast on Sportsnet; OHL launches mental health initiative; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Please check out our first of two posts on women’s hockey this week, which are using the IIHF’s Girls’ Hockey Weekend as an opportunity to discuss issues for women in hockey culture. The second piece will appear later this weekend. [Hockey in Society]
  • James Bradshaw takes an in-depth look at the 12-year mega-deal signed by Rogers for NHL broadcast rights, and how it will affect the Hockey Night in Canada programming and viewing experience. [The Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, if you can get past the shameless self-promotion of Rogers, this Michael Grange piece gives some interesting insight into the company’s planned innovations for its broadcasts. [Sportsnet]
  • Katie Flynn has an excellent critique of the exclusion of many qualified women from the Rogers broadcast team – definitely a must read. [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • Clare Austen was frustrated by an interview with US hockey star Hilary Knight, who recently practiced with the Anaheim Ducks, which was posted on Puck Daddy. She critiques the substance of the interview and poses a series of questions that would provide deeper insight into issues and opportunities in women’s hockey. [Puckology]
  • Some small but important steps for the CWHL this year, as Sportsnet has signed on to broadcast the Clarkson Cup playoffs and an as-yet-to-be-named special event. [Sportsnet]
  • Unfortunately for women in NCAA hockey, there is no such TV deal for their competitions. Eric Burton explores why this is the case and argues for it change. [The Hockey Writers]

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IIHF’s “Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend”: A Chance to Reflect on Barriers and Opportunities for Women in Hockey Culture

The International Ice Hockey Federation is celebrating its fourth annual Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend this coming weekend. The event is designed to raise the profile of women’s hockey globally and to offer participation opportunities for girls, especially those who have never played. From the IIHF:

The World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend is a global opportunity for girls to try out hockey as a new sport. Thousands of participants took part in the editions in 2011, 2012 and 2013. . . . It is an opportunity for girls of all ages to try ice hockey. We are looking for hosts all around the world to bring girls from their community together on the ice.

This certainly seems like a noble initiative by the IIHF, although it is certainly debatable to what extent such efforts will close the very significant gender gap that exists between men and women when it comes to their experience as hockey players, fans, or even media members. One way in which this may prove to be a positive initiative is that it provides a prominent and public platform through which to foster dialogue about the opportunities for, barriers against, and experiences of women in hockey.

One of the fantastic consequences of the widespread adoption of new media technologies has been the democratiziation of media production – and, in the case of hockey media, this has meant the emergence of new voices that have challenged traditional narratives, entrenched members of the mainstream media, and long-held ways of understanding the sport. It has also meant that hundreds of women, who were barely represented in hockey media, have had a public platform to demonstrate their brilliant insights about the sport, celebrate their fandom, and – perhaps most importantly – to highlight the many ways in which women continue to be marginalized, excluded, and ignored in various facets of hockey culture. There are too many pieces to link, but highlights include insights into to learning to play hockey in a physically aggressive manner, commentary on the lack of opportunity for elite women players, strong critique of CBC’s disastrous “While the Men Watch” broadcast in 2012 (here, here, and here), and criticism of gimmicky attempts to market the sport to women fans. The work of these bloggers has, I believe, helped create space for male allies to criticize sexism and misogyny in hockey culture and to call on all actors – including fans, media, teams, and leagues – to do better when it comes to gender equality.

It is in this spirit that, with the IIHF’s Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend upcoming, Hockey in Society will be running two pieces this week to offer diverse perspectives on women’s hockey in Canada and around the world. This blog has made women’s hockey a major area of focus since its inception, and is currently in the process of recruiting more female writers to broaden the diversity of voices represented on the site. Later in the week, we will run a new Hockey in Society Roundtable featuring insights from female bloggers, academics, and players about women’s and girls’ hockey. Meanwhile, in this initial post I have collected together some of the many pieces about women’s hockey and the role of women in hockey culture that have been posted here since Hockey in Society launched three years ago. If you missed them the first time around, I encourage you to check out some of the past pieces on these topics.

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Weekly Links: Sexism in hockey media and fan groups; NHL expansion news and rumours; Ovechkin supports separatists in Ukraine?; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Alexander Ovechkin, who has a friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin, appears to be using social media to promote Russian propaganda and show his support the separatists in Ukraine. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
  • Jen Mac Rammos calls out hockey media for being a sexist and exclusionary boys’ club. A very important piece and a definite must-read. [Fear the Fin]
  • Two University of Ottawa hockey players have been charged with sexual assault, following an incident in February that led to the suspension of the entire team. This article situates the incident in a broader culture of sexual entitlement and rape that pervades many sporting and university environments. [The Star]
  • An interview with Mike Burse, a hockey writer who is working to bring the advanced stats movement to women’s hockey and the CWHL. [Hockey Wilderness]

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