Hockey fans form against Cherry war-talk
VANCOUVER — There’s no place for war in sports, say a group of hockey fans who plan to campaign outside of Rogers Arena Saturday.
The new Vancouver-based group Hockey Fans For Peace stemmed from the war-talk of forthright commentator Don Cherry during broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada.
“As a sports fan, I’m deeply offended,” said Kimball Cariou, the group’s spokesman, of Cherry using HNIC as a platform to express his support of the troops in Afghanistan.
And Cherry says he’s just that: pro-troops. Not pro-war.
“You don’t see me saying war is good and people getting killed is good,” Cherry told Bill Good during his CKNW radio show Thursday. “While the troops are there we have to support them – that’s the way I see it.”
The group, however, views it otherwise.
“The best way to support those troops is to bring them home,” Cariou said. “That’s what we want.”
Wearing t-shirts with crossed hockey sticks and a “peace puck” on the front, the group will hand out flyers outside of Rogers Arena Saturday as the Canucks play the Detroit Red Wings.
“That’s what were fighting for, that’s what they’re giving their lives for. For even kooky people like that to speak out,” Cherry said of the Saturday campaign.
“I don’t like being bullied,” Cariou said in response to Cherry’s comments. “I don’t need Don Cherry going on TV and bullying me into believing something.”
Sports culture doesn’t have to be synonymous with firing guns and rough-and-tough behaviour, he said.
Carious recalls spectators at a recent B.C. Lions football game being encouraged to stand up and salute.
“It was bizarre,” he said.
The group is calling on the CBC to stop, what they say, is militarism during hockey broadcasts and war-glorification during games.
“Our intent,” Carious said, “is to tell people it’s okay to be against the war if you like hockey.”