For many of the politically correct, Don Cherry is still flexible enough to insert foot in mouth at 79.
I’ll admit upfront, that I am a Cherry fan. Always have been and always will be. He’s tough, opinionated, still old school in many ways but in a world where there really doesn’t seem to be any ‘school’ any more, many of the days of yore rules of respect and conduct should be refreshed in the minds of our youth.
Sure, Grapes does blurt out questionables from time to time. We all do don’t we, but because he is a public figure on international television, he should be more in control and conscious of how his words may be perceived by each and every person from every walk of life? You’re surely thinking Duncan Keith should have had this in mind as well.
Where Keith and the ‘perceived’ slash are concerned, the act should warrant a minimal suspension because it’s unsportsmanlike. Whether it was hard or if Daniel Sedin even felt it is not relevant. Some punishment decisions should simply keep in mind that our children are watching and this is not the message we want to inspire in our youth.
While Keith’s postgame comments themselves surely come off as sexist, if the focus of this conversation is truly about equal rights, what about Keith’s right to be able to wind down from a game in a media-less dressing room meant for teammates, coaches, and trainers. Why just because they are paid athletes, do we think they owe it to us as fans, media, and critics, to open up every moment of their lives to us? Why do we feel they don’t deserve any privacy?
In football, there is a media room where all members of the press can ask players and coaches questions (good, redundant, infuriating, and questionable) about the game. I see it as a place where players and personnel have had a chance to shower, de-sensitive themselves from the game, and prepare their responses for the media. Perhaps if Duncan Keith had been able to enter just such a space be it a conference room setting or a second locker room where players can be interviewed in less of a ‘hands up’ setting, he would have been possibly less inclined to be shocked by such a question which as angering as it may have been recieved, was warranted.
Kieth did go overboard in his interview with Karen Thomson and he knows it and has apologized as he should have, but it doesn’t mean that process should remain status quo.
I can almost guarantee you if a male reporter who looked like he had never played a day of sports himself asked the same question of a Duncan, Keith’s response in the same setting at the same time, would have been of a similar nature. The comment still wouldn’t have been okay, they perhaps would still have been of a macho, sporty nature, but his perception of a reporter who doesn’t understand the emotions of the game would have been similar.
I am not justifying his remarks at all but am am justifying his right to be frustrated with the insinuating lines of questioning reporters often ask of players and we expect these athletes full of post-game adrenalin, to remain calm and watch their tongue?
As for Don Cherry’s comments on Hockey Night in Canada, perhaps he too went a bit far by saying that woman shouldn’t be allowed in the dressing room, as I would agree with Ron that it is and has been for quite some time, about equal rights. However, Don is right, but not about woman not being allowed to be in the dressing room. I would adversly agree that no media should be allowed in the dressing room. If one player is uncomfortable with media being in the locker room, the rules should change for all.
That would be an equal opportunity solution to who should or should not be allowed in the dressing room occupied by any amateur or professional athlete.
Allow athletes time to desensify. Give them their privacy in the locker room, and provide a place where players are fully clothed or decent to their comfort level, where media can access them.
How about a room where no less than 10 players from each team have to be available to answer questions from the public, with star players required to log so much post-game media time each month?
You can look at what Duncan Keith said as merely sexist and inappropriate, and think the same of Don Cherry’s response to the incidence, or you can put yourself in their shoes and look at where league rules pertaining to the medias rights might be inappropriate in their own right.
We are told to never make a harsh decision when we are angry or tired or upset. Take time to unwind and clear your thoughts. Ever been pushed by someone who is in your face whether it be a reporter or a spouse. We are all individuals and need to desensify differently.
This likely wouldn’t have happened, had Keith been able to unwind in a matter that suits his internal needs and it’s not up to you or I to determine how he should have to accomplish this.
Keith has apologized. Step away from the woman’s rights ledge and think about everyone’s rights. Cherry was defending a friend and not unlike Keith’s remarks, Don’s rebuttal was a little fresh off the cuff.
How would Don Cherry feel about reserving the dressing room, simply for those that are dressing?
Scene from ‘Any Given Sunday’ CAUTION! Mature subject matter.
As Bruins coach, Cherry welcomed women reporters in locker room