The Attempt to Inject Woke Culture Into Hockey Leads to Canadian Juniors Player Suspension for an Insult

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, File

[Word of warning that due to the subject matter and the fact this is a discussion regarding hockey, some coarseness may be found in this article.]

It is the time of year when all of the hockey world is focused on championships across the map. The NHL is deep into the Second Season in the run to the Stanley Cup finals, players who are out of the playoffs are representing their countries in the Hockey World Championship in Prague, and in Canada the CHL Junior league playoffs are underway. Playing for the Memorial Cup, this tournament is played by the champions of the three junior leagues and the team serving as the host city. 


The London Knights are competing, representing the Ontario Hockey League, but they managed to get there under some duress, as they played for the OHL title while missing one of their star players. Landon Sim, a prospect of the St. Louis Blues, was serving a five-game suspension during the finals in their league, and the reason behind this punishment is sheer baffling from a hockey perspective — but also from the standpoint of common sense.

During the Conference final, the Knights were squaring off against the Saginaw Spirit, and a pregame challenge led to Sim receiving a game misconduct penalty. Later, the OHL officials issued the suspension – all over name-calling taking place on the ice. During the pre-skate, Saginaw defender Bradon Hache challenged Sim, made contact with him on the ice, and then, during an exchange, Sim referred to Hache using a derogatory invective that both is a female body part and an indication of being cowardly. (We’ll resort to using the replacement term “pansy” for effect.)

The details from here are sketchy, but it seems Hache then went over to the on-ice officials and informed them of the verbal exchange. It was then that Sim was issued a game misconduct penalty and sent to the locker room. If this sounds like an overly-sensitive approach to what is something experienced in just about every hockey game, it is because that is exactly what has taken place.


Players chirping at each other and delivering insults and even threats are commonplace, to be sure. What is being employed here is the extension of the OHL’s diversity initiatives whereby on-ice conduct is expected to be filtered through this woke standard as well. The OHL has instituted a “diversity, maltreatment, and bullying policy,” and this arrives with a list of terms and other sayings deemed to be off limits between players. Landon Sim calling an opposing player a (“pansy”) was considered not just a violation but one worthy of suspension.

Looking into the matter, we see this was an even more ludicrous judgment. Other players currently or previously serving suspensions of this length involved illegal hits during games, such as blows to the head and a crosscheck to a player in the neck. Saying mean things is now ranked as high as delivering potentially damaging blows. The London Knights appealed the decision, but league officials who upheld the suspension declared that suspensions under 10 games are not up for appeal. 

The details behind the penalty are even more insipid. During the on-ice exchange, Spirit defenseman Hache referenced Sim coming off of a shoulder injury and announced that during play, he would deliver a body check that would reinjure the shoulder. It was in response that Sim is said to have delivered the poisonous line, “No, you won’t; you’re too much of a (pansy) to do that.” This was when Hache notified the referees of this offense.


So the league has an anti-bullying policy in place, but this applies to mean things spoken by a player; the actual threat of bodily harm is not considered “bullying”?! This is not going to bode well at all for a sport reliant on players making physical contact when an insult is considered a far more grievous act than causing an injury that would remove a player from a game.

The fact that the aggressor, Hache, was informing the refs on the incident means that the on-ice officials never actually heard the exchange, taking one player at his word about what transpired. This is not a good precedent at all to set. Adding to the furor is that Hache’s father is the OHL’s Referee-In-Chief, and though he was not working this game, London Knights officials say he did confer with the game’s refs and guided them on their call regarding this matter.

I am sorry, but this is such a farcical rule and application of wokeness that there is no way this can stand. Calling another player a (“pansy”), and other insults is a component of the sport. Hell, it is the entire basis of the hockey show “Shorsey,” about sub-minor hockey playing on Hulu.

Hockey is a game in which players are so responsible for the conditions that they are known for policing themselves. Fighting is a component of the game to deliver a message to opponents that mere two-minute penalties are not enough as far as accountability goes. Applying woke sensibilities to on-ice exchanges will create the opposite effect.


Now that the message has been delivered that particular insults are deemed worse than threats of bodily harm, players will react accordingly. They will say less but hit more, and the injuries will mount as a result. When you tell players they cannot chirp with their mouths, they will drop the gloves and communicate with their fists.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos