Gay Slurs in Hockey

November 3, 2009

It starts off as a very simple issue of socio-political attitudes. Columnist Justin Bourne, former minor league pro, writes in USA Today:

In my days as a hockey player, I did nothing but contribute to hockey’s culture of homophobia and prejudice against gays. I used gay slurs more times than I’d like to admit. Six months after I left my last professional locker room, I felt a twinge of regret, followed by a full-out, stomach punch of regret. And by the time I finished the first draft of this column, I was disgusted with myself.

It is a great column and I recommend you click through and read the whole thing.
Back to my interest today, he makes the usual exhortation in the middle of the piece.

We can’t wait another two decades ignoring the small but consistent strides of progress that the world outside sport is making.
We need to make a change now, because kids who move away from home to play junior hockey at 16 or 17 are still impressionable. If they don’t encounter a good role model, the seeds are sown for a person, who after trying to fit in, thinks it’s OK to drink, treat women a certain way and use homosexuality as a punchline.

Simple isn’t it? The kind of statement we can all get behind, right?

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