Hockey Bullies

I realize this is a suppose to be a hockey blog but there are times when other matters (more important too) that need to be brought out to the open and discussed and this is one of those times.

As a kid growing up in a small town you could walk around town and you would know everyone and they would know you (sometimes good and bad I thought) and if there was problems between kids it got settled face to face or on the pond in a shinny game, along with no hard feelings afterwards. But today and with society the way it is that ‘way of doing things’ can’t happen anymore. I don’t know if that’s to bad or maybe it’s good but the one thing I will say there was no room for bullying when I grew up, it wasn’t tolerated nor allowed. I know, I know, times have changed and you are absolutly right, they have but we must get back to some sort of responsibility and direction that we can give the kids nowadays, shouldn’t we?

I was always taught to give respect and then you will receive it back. If you didn’t give the respect to your peers you wouldn’t get far in life I was always told. Bottom line you had to earn it, like everything else we have accomplished in life but I don’t see that anymore or not as much. What I do see is kids and adults (just look at the way Bettman has handled the talks, ‘my way or nothing’) is they all think they deserve the respect even without giving it. It’s like a previlage that they deserve and if they don’t get it they berate you right back or they use the electronic social media system to do it (emails, Facebook, Twitter) which in my opinion is the cowardly way of dealing with things (remember that face to face way!)

Now I know you are reading this and going, ‘Hold on Coach where you going with this’ – ‘this has nothing to do with hockey’. Well my friends it does. This bullying situation is not just happening at the school play grounds or in the class rooms, it’s happening in the dressing rooms that your little Tommy or Tammy are involved in and to be perfectly honest, YOU probably don’t know it is even happening! Not entirely your fault either but it’s something that has to be addressed now, not later.

I remember when I played, you know the coaches would say, ‘Ok guys this is your room nothing leaves it, nothing!’ and really nothing did because we would handle things ourselves. But today it’s different as mentioned before. Your little Tommy might be a victim in his own team dressing room and he won’t say anything because he doesn’t want to be embarrassed or the bully doing the deed has threatened him with something if he goes and tells the coach. You see the bully knows he won’t be punished as for one it’s his word against Tommy’s and two, the way our society is structured nothing seems to be done to the bully because of our laws (maybe our politcians should be worrying more about this eh!)

Before I go any further and get more upset with the way of the world is heading I read a great little blog about another outstanding player, one of my favorites while growing up, who is putting his voice and help towards stamping out bullying. Toronto Maple Leaf great Borje Salming who could tell you a little bit about standing up for his rights against bullying when he played (Check out the Philadelphia playoff series in the late 70’s). But it wasn’t just on the ice that he had situations arise it was off the ice as well.

Our good friend Mike Ulmer of the TML website and reporter for all the Leafs news has written a great piece about Salming and his efforts towards ‘Anti-Bullying’ over in Sweden but also here in Canada.

Please take the time to have a read and think about things and what has been said here and in Mr. Ulmers article. There are so many kids out there that need our help against bully’s and we need to ‘Stand Tall’ for them and help, we need to do it NOW!

Salming Speaking Out Against Bullying

By Warren Nye,
October 20th, 2012