No fighting stance starts at home

Much has been said and written about the differences between men and women. We compare everything from physical ability to emotional stability to work ethic — and we try, in many areas, to find equality.


And yet there is one specific area in which men will always exceed women — which isn’t necessarily a good thing — and that is in the arena of physical aggression. Though sadly there have been shocking incidents of female bullying and aggression that have made headlines over the last few years.


But let’s take a look at the latest news in sports: Jonathan Roy, son of former NHL goalie Patrick Roy, was in a brawl this past Saturday during a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game. While 10 other players were scrapping, Roy skated over to the opposing team’s goalie, ripped off his helmet, and began pummelling him. When he was finished his barrage of blows, he gave the middle finger salute, with both hands, to the crowd.


This is not the first time we’ve heard about physical fighting on the ice, nor is it the first we’ve seen of young Roy’s aggressive behaviour. Of course, he needed to be reprimanded and penalized, and the league yesterday suspended the younger Roy for 7 games, and his father for 5.


But what can we do, we, the mothers, wives, sisters, even friends of the players, coaches, and those men in charge of governing the game and all its rules? Because we obviously can’t suggest that these boys/men talk out their feelings on the ice, we need to come up with some type of solution. It’s up to us to insist that the physical beatings these guys give and take are stopped.

It starts in the home, and it starts at the most junior level. When we let our kids play hockey on the driveway, or on the street, an adult should be present to help diffuse any disputes. And, if any fighting occurs, the players involved should be expelled from the game.

But we’ve also seen occasions when parents get into it — unhappy with a referee’s call, or annoyed with the coach’s decision — and this, too, must stop. How can we possibly teach our children if we don’t set a good example?

Some people argue fighting is a part of hockey, and if you don’t like it, don’t watch. But just because it’s been that way forever doesn’t mean it’s the best way.

Is fighting on the ice simply a matter of testosterone buildup and releasing aggression? Perhaps, but if we allow that, then are we allowing all men to release their aggression any time, any place? Absolutely not!

I don’t have the answer to this problem. I do know we have to do something before it gets worse. If you have any suggestions, send them in —­ we need all the help we can get.

Lisi Tesher is a freelance writer and photographer living in Toronto with her husband and two children. She cares passionately about social injustices, children’s health and education, and diversity.