Koivu: Un vrai Canadien
The media horde at the Bell Centre was larger than usual yesterday and that was to be expected the day after Quebec City lawyer Guy Bertrand branded Saku Koivu as a criminal for failing "to respect the right of Quebecers to be served in French."There's unfortunately a real ugliness when it comes to language issues in Quebec, as a few zealots seek out platforms to attack people like Koivu for not conforming to their standards, what Hickey calls being 'un vrai Québécois.'
In addition to the usual sports media, the gathering attracted the yahoos who couldn't tell the difference between a hockey puck and a pétanque ball, but are ready to attack a man who should be regarded as a national treasure.
This entire story is an embarrassment given the lengths Koivu has gone to be a big part of the Canadiens organization. He's the team's captain, it's longest-serving player, and his battle with cancer turned into a crusade to help others, as the Saku Koivu Foundation fundraised millions to provide cancer-treating equipment to a local hospital.
Unfortunately by talking about this latest incident, you draw attention to such nonsense as what language Koivu addresses the fans in, so I'll keep this brief: Quebecers need to stop putting up with and supporting people like Bertrand, who stray so close to hate-mongering as to be intolerable.
No wonder free agents are avoiding Montreal.