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It happens from time to time that the enlightenment strikes: there are matters that are bigger than the game of hockey, definitely bigger than a single hockey game.

During the week I was surely educated about a matter that we seldom speak about for several and varied reasons, which are probably excuses rather than reasons. Poor excuses, to say the least.

I don’t know Nicole Sorcé as I am only aware that she is a person who loves the game and that she is a credentialed AHL photojournalist. In other words, one of the best in her profession.

But her story and her experiences from the hockey environment make me upset and sad, as I feel as well that it shouldn’t be this way. Not at all.

The first question that crosses my mind when I read through her article and retweeted it to others for reading:

What the hell is wrong with people? What makes it so difficult for many men to behave as normal people?

I couldn’t really believe my eyes when I came to this part, but you and I had better consider this. This is what Nicole said happened since she was eighteen.

And, I can’t tell any difference as to which of these awkward episodes is worse than the other.

“Age 18: The guys on the team thought it would be funny to set me up on a date with a desperate guy, who actually PAID THEM to do so. I thought they were being genuine.

Age 19: Our GM invited me to the local 21+ strip club because his buddy was in town and he “wanted to show him a good time.” The next morning he didn’t let us into the office until 12:00PM for a 1:00PM game because he was sleeping it off in one of the luxury suites.

Age 20: A minor league pitcher had the ball boy deliver me a baseball with his phone number on it after cat-calling me all game from the dugout, in front of long-time season ticket holders and the children. I was an intern trying to usher.

Age 21: The guys in the office, including a VP, referred to me as “legs” and had no problem with me hearing it and their subsequent laughing. I don’t even want to know what else they talked about.

Age 22: After a drunk old man grabbed my ass on the concourse, I asked my nearest supervisor for help, and he said, “well, what do you expect when you’re dressed like that?” I spent the rest of the game crying in my cubicle.

Age 23: I had to tolerate an old, perverted man working at the arena sneak up behind me and whisper in my ear all of the disgusting, sexual acts he wanted to perform on me. He also told me that he was the devil – all season long. Even after multiple complaints to upper management, he was never fired.

Age 24: I stopped covering games in Allentown last season because I didn’t feel safe walking alone from the arena back to the parking garage late at night with my equipment. It only takes being followed once to do that to you.

Age 25: I still haven’t met a man who thinks with his brain instead of his d***. Or have I?”

You may read the whole story of Nicole here, and I strongly insist that you do that: https://nicolesorce.com/2016/08/28/sexual-harassment-we-wont-take-it-anymore/

All this, to say the least, is a very sad and disheartening story about men and their conduct.

So I am asking you who are a male.

>>> Is this the story you want to tell about yourself and to your surroundings, to your sons and daughters? That you were the man who harassed other people, mostly women, in different social situations or perhaps even went further and committed a crime such as rape?

Or do you want honestly to tell that you were the one who treated every person in a normal way in every situation?

Give this serious time of thinking through and ask yourself honestly who you are and who you want to be. You can only win if you do that.

And, yes, we should talk about this much more and deeper than we have done before because this is bigger than hockey itself. It’s a question of human rights, her and everyone else’s right to attend to hockey games without receiving sexist and stupid comments about her look or how she dresses.

I can only agree with her lines a bit below in her article:

“I didn’t go to college for Sport Management to be belittled on a daily basis in the workplace by men who have nowhere near the amount of respect for the game as I do. I am working towards realizing a childhood dream I’ve had since I was seven, and you’re NOT going to ruin it for me.

Your bias of staying loyal to the boys of the office isn’t going to help you sell out the arena when your best salesperson, me, leaves for another opportunity that will give me the respect I deserve. If you’re married, God help that poor woman.”

No, Nicole, you didn’t go to college to be belittled, you did go so you could make the best hockey photos ever and I hope that you will continue to take more fantastic photoshoots of the game!

Finally, I wish that a lot of hockey organizations would bring up this subject and talk through with the staff and players, what’s acceptable and not. Everyone will win on that as there is absolutely nothing to lose.

It’s a huge loss to avoid it, that’s for sure, for everyone and in the long run, the game.

Another quote for each organization to consider

Game studios, developers, and major publishers need to vocally speak up against the harassment of women and say this behavior is unacceptable

-Anita Sarkeesian

Note:

Yes, I have been watching the World Cup and Finland’s poor play. It goes up and down. Finland had a tremendous spring last season, and now facing the downs. As someone said, it is hockey and it is an unavoidable part of the game’s condition, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win.

But one thing is definitely sure: there are no eternal winners.

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About The Author

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

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