Not Cool to Bully On the Ice by Valerie J. Patterson

If you’ve been listening to the news or any sports talk show, then you know that Milan Lucic–the Boston Bruins left winger–said, “I’m going to [insert expletive] kill you next year”, a threat he delivered to the Montreal Canadiens, Dale Weise while making his way down the hand shake line after the final game of a Stanley Cup playoff series in which the Bruins lost to the Canadiens.

Why is this an issue?  Isn’t hockey known for its violence?  Its brawls?  Its “let’s get even” on the ice attitude?  Yes, all that’s true.  However, this is an issue for many reasons.  For one, hockey is probably one of the few professional sports out there where there even is a hand shake line, a last ditch effort to lose graciously, leave the grudges on the ice, and congratulate the winners.

Secondly–and perhaps more importantly–Milan Lucic and his wife as recently as March of this year released a children’s book that teaches children NOT to bully others.  Lucic has been quoted as saying:  “I always feel like — and still to this day — that you should treat people the way you want to be treated.  That’s why I feel strongly about this issue. It’s unfortunate it’s still an ongoing issue.”

And he’s also been quoted as saying:  ““Teach [kids] to respect everyone, respect themselves and respect your peers. I know that’s what I was brought up to believe in growing up. My parents did such a good job with myself.”

Such excellent advice coming from a man who, in essence, bullied Weise when he threatened to kill him in the upcoming season.  Apparently, Lucic doesn’t exactly practice what he preaches…or publishes.  And, he’s a poor loser to boot.

In interviews with Lucic regarding the threat he’s said everything EXCEPT that he’s sorry.  According to Lucic, what’s said on the ice stays on the ice and he’s not sorry for what he’s said.   “I’m a guy that plays on emotion, and this is a game of emotions. Sometimes you make decisions out of emotion that might not be the best ones. That’s what it is.”

And how is this any different from being a bully?  Different “playground” perhaps, but same concept.

Additionally, Lucic said, “It’s unfortunate, because what’s said on the ice stays on the ice, and unfortunately that code is broken and it’s unfortunate that it blows up to what it is now,” Lucic said. “I’m not the first guy to do it, I’m not the last guy to do it.”

Neither of these statements make him credible as a player to look up to or as a writer of a book against bullying.  The excuse that he’s not the first nor will he be the last guy to do it simply shows he can’t or won’t accept responsibility that his actions and words were not appropriate.  Can’t a bully claim that what happens on the playground stays on the playground?  Yep.  But it still doesn’t make it right.

Bullying is a real problem.  This man–in my opinion–blew up his credibility as someone trying to teach children that bullying is wrong.  If children are to look up to professional athletes as role models then they need to clean up their own acts and live by what they attempt to teach children.

*************************************************************************

So sorry this blog was late today.  Had no Internet service this morning and then took a much needed nap after work.

Hope all enjoy a lovely and bully-free weekend.  Until next time…

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13 responses to “Not Cool to Bully On the Ice by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. Bullying IS a huge issue and I’m glad you brought attention to this. This hockey player just doesn’t get it, does he? There aren’t too sides to this story. There’s right and wrong. Okay, so that IS two sides. But he’s wrong.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      You would think this guy–having written a book on anti-bullying–would see he’s being contrite and hypocritical. You’d think he’d at least realize that in order to sell said book he needs to not be a bully himself. I don’t think he quite understands that it appears he’s talking out both sides of his mouth and the two contradict each other. He can’t have it both ways.

      Bullying is such a huge problem. It seems there is very little toleration for being different from the norm. And bullying doesn’t stop at the schoolyard. There are adult bullies…as he clearly demonstrates.

  2. This kind of game gives a real experience of bdeeaddddegg

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      More like rotten egg, John. 😛 It’s not the game itself, but rather a sect of players. It’s a shame some never learn how to lose gracefully. It’s also a shame that professional sports don’t seem to produce the “heroes” they used to produce.

  3. wow. I hadn’t heard about this. It’s terrine. I am a hockey fan and I love the game. Bullying is totally wrong in any sport – or anywhere. What happened to sportsmanship?

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Exactly…sportsmanship! How are children to learn what it means to be a gracious loser or a good sport if pros like this one get away with this type of poor behavior?

  4. That’s just awful, Valerie.Talk about hypocrisy. Sadly we see this sort of thing more and more. Here in the UK, where football rules, some players act like lunatics on the pitch, causing injuries to other players and using foul language. Then they have the audacity to talk as if their actions are justified! I think the huge salaries some of these (so called) sportsmen earn makes them think there is one rule for them and another for the rest of us. Pretty shameful. I’m that old that I remember what true sportsmanship looked like on the pitch, and mourn the loss of those days.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      You know what? I think money has a lot to do with the changing tide in sports. What some of these players earn is ridiculous! And it’s partly because of their elevated status that they are not as eager to please fans as they once were. I can easily remember when asking for an autograph was part of the thrill of going to the ballpark…and the autographs was given freely. Athletes were more humble and more thankful for the adoration of a kid. Now, I hear most athletes charge for autographs. Unbelievable!

  5. At least something like this brings an additional awareness to what is and has been a problem and is getting worse. More and more schools are adopting zero tolerance policies.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      That’s true, more schools are “adopting” a zero tolerance for bullying. However, even after adopting such a stance, they turn their backs to the problem. Bullying is not as addressed and dealt with as we think. Walk onto an playground and you’ll see. We have to actually address the problem, not just put a bunch of words down on paper and call it fixed.

  6. Shameful! We often see the same thing here with football players and sadly creeping in to other sports too. Bullying in any shape or form, whether on or off the pitch, is never justified. They should be banned from their sport for such behaviour.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Or at the very least hit hard in the wallet with fines for conduct unbecoming a professional athlete. And when I say say “hit hard” I mean a fine so hefty they stop and think before behaving in the same manner again. This guy here has excuse after excuse for his behavior instead of simply admitting he was wrong and behaved poorly. Perhaps we should toss the lot of them and begin again! 😛

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