The feeling in Quebec
At the heart of what's happening with this goofy Shane Doan business is the nationalism debate that has been raging in the province of Quebec since, well, ever. Politicians are attacking an English hockey player who allegedly made anti-francophone statements in the hopes of winning votes — and that alone tells us just where this country is at.
It's all very absurd. Actually, it's more than that: It's downright stupid.
In an earlier thread, commenter Robert sheds some light on what might be the mood in Quebec, albeit what he offers is obviously (or at least hopefully) an extreme point of view.
It includes allegations of Hockey Canada's anti-Quebec bias, questioning Steve Yzerman's suitability for the GM position due to his American citizenship, and other such nonsense. But this is what we're dealing with, and it explains in part why Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson was called out onto the carpet in Parliament today to explain his actions.
It's extremism, and a ploy by a politician to appeal to a certain zealot viewpoint that sees fit to lash out against even the most innocuous statements.
What Doan — or another player on his team, as it were — is alleged to have said is "fucking French," a reference directed at four francophone officials who were working a game in Montreal. And, to me, that's not a racist statement — and certainly not a comment worthy of the attention of Canadian MPs.
But, there it is, on the front page of every paper and the top of every newscast, fulfilling the wishes of the very extremists we should be ignoring at every turn.
UPDATE Reader Arnold Isbister offers these thoughts in an email:
It is us, the common people along with our voice(the media) who must voice our disapproval of political self-agendas. This has nothing to do with racism & sports but to find some sacrificial goat for their mandate. They latch onto something 2yrs old which was already resolved, put in some new words for a different slant and attack not only a proven innocent man but ourselves too for supporting our National team. Quebec should tell these so-called leaders to "pack it - you're off the Team!". Really, who do they think they are?Sentiments shared by most, no doubt.