Weekly Links: Patrick Burke’s Fight Against Homophobia; Georges Laraque and Dick Pound on PEDs in the NHL

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.

Hockey Links

  • Don Cherry was offered an honourary degree from Royal Military College, but declined the offer after at least one faculty member severely criticized the offer. Unfortunately I was on the road and very busy when this story broke, so could not get into the matter in any depth, but it’s an interesting topic – especially around issues of free speech and the politics of honourary degrees. [Globe and Mail]
  • Lots of interesting recent commentary about the potential (likely?) performance-enhancing drug (PED) problem in the NHL. Puck Daddy reviewed excerpts from the autobiography of ex-NHLer Georges Laraque, in which he calls out the NHL and NHL Player’s Association for not inadequate testing for PEDs. [Puck Daddy]
  • Meanwhile, Dick Pound, the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency who has previously criticized the NHL’s drug testing policies, weighed in on the issue. [Globe and Mail]
  • If you missed our story about efforts to erode homophobia in hockey (in which these two stories were quoted and linked), do check out the two fantastic pieces written about the activism of Patrick Burke, the son of Maple Leafs GM Brian and brother of the late Brendan Burke. [Puck Buddys and Vancouver Sun]
  • The details about the NHL’s overseas television deal. I feel that some media scholar has a thesis-in-waiting examining the NHL’s efforts to grow its brand globally. This broadcast deal is a major part of these efforts. [Globe and Mail]
  • The Ontario Hockey League takes a hard line on dangerous hits, serving up a 20-game suspension for an elbow to the head. Are such suspensions enough to curb destructive violence in hockey? [The Star]

General Sport Links

  • A damning critique of NCAA universities that prioritize “protecting the brand” over dealing with unethical or immoral behaviour in their sport programs. Upsetting stuff not just about Penn State’s attempt to sweep under the rug a sexual abuse scandal, which has now claimed the jobs of the football team’s head coach and the university’s president, but the misplaced priorities of NCAA universities. [CSN Bay Area]
  • A UK study finds that women’s sport attracts only 0.5% of all sport sponsorship, versus 61.1% for men’s sport (mixed sport accounts for the remainder). That means men’s sport receives 122 times more funding that women’s – for the visual thinkers, imagine lining up the Empire State Building (1454 feet) next to a basketball hoop (roughly 12-13 feet, to the top of the backboard) and that gives you a sense of the disparity in dollar terms. [The Guardian; h/t to Hockey in Society reader Malinda for the link]
  • An Australian field hockey player speaks about becoming the third Australian male athlete to come out of the closet. Lots of interesting stuff in this article about the masculine Australian sport culture and how straying from the heterosexual norm carries significant risks. [Sydney Morning Herald; h/t to reader Lori for the link]
  • Hockey in Society contributor Courtney Szto examines why women are so significantly underrepresented in coaching positions. [The Rabbit Hole]
  • Good piece about the payment of athletes in NCAA sport, and the tensions between the amateur ideal in sport and the mythology surrounding the American Dream. [Grantland]
  • The perspective of a CIS athlete at University of Toronto about the psychology of athletes returning early from or playing through injury. [The Varsity]
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