SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – This video clip is disgusting. You’ll see one hockey player try to behead another one.
What’s even more disgusting is that the perpetrator, Raffi Torres, is such a known quantity, such a repeat offender, that his very presence on the ice is an indictment of a sport that says it’s trying to clean up its act, but does nothing about it. In fact, Torres was not even penalized for the hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa.
He will, of course, be suspended. But Torres has been suspended and fined many times in the past for exactly this same sort of play. And yet he’s continually allowed back on the ice. The NHL, the Phoenix Coyotes (his current employers/co-conspirators) and all who profit from hockey mayhem (yes, hockey broadcast and cable networks, I mean you) share in the blame here.
Torres is not the only thug in hockey. He’s incredibly lucky to have made millions playing a sport that allows his sorry act to continue. But he’s hardly alone. The NHL has taken baby steps toward addressing violence, brain damage, and dirty play–yet every time it allows a Raffi Torres to assault a Marian Hossa, the sport falls deeper into the slime.
Torres’ despicable act occurred during live action. Much of the NHL’s brutality happens after the whistle, when the ritualized Kabuki of the hockey fight occurs. Lame apologists will tell you that fighting is part of the sport but of course, it’s not. College and Olympic matches don’t tolerate it. The NHL doesn’t need to, either.
But the same losers who let Torres keep going to work are making it clear: they’re fine with all this. I ask you, hockey fans: are you?
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