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Hextall on Hockey: Tired of talking about sexism in hockey

680 CJOB hockey analyst and Rogers Sportsnet play-by-play broadcaster Leah Hextall recapping the scoring plays of the CWHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
680 CJOB hockey analyst and Rogers Sportsnet play-by-play broadcaster Leah Hextall recapping the scoring plays of the CWHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Supplied Photo

Last Thursday, multiple news outlets reached out to me for my opinion on Mike Milbury’s comment about women being a distraction in the NHL bubble. I didn’t respond to any of the requests. I bowed out of the conversation because I’m so tired of talking about this bulls–t.

Listen, the context behind Milbury’s comment about players not having to deal with women as a distraction in the bubble stems from the fact that past practices in the sport of hockey have seen playoff teams elect to stay at a hotel for home games to avoid the “distraction” of their lives and to focus solely on hockey.

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That’s what Mibury meant. Knowing this as a person — as a woman — who has been around the game most of her life, I didn’t take offence to the comment, but I did shake my head because the way in which he said it clearly sexualizes women.

And we don’t need any help in being sexualized.

Read more: Hextall on Hockey — All-in on Vegas Golden Knights

I’ve been sexualized my entire career and most of my life because I am female — through movies, magazines, songs and my career path.

What I really don’t need is any more PR statements with lame apologies — I need action. Not action in the form of cancel culture, but action of education.

Like so many of our societal issues, we have to unlearn the bias that has been built into us throughout our lives. Sexism, racism, homophobia — the list is so long.

I definitely don’t have the answers on how to solve society’s problems, but we can’t do it by writing everyone off. We can’t do it overnight.

And me spouting off an opinion — well, does it really matter?

What I can do, and what so many women before me have done, is use their platform to push. Push for progress. Push for equality. Push back.

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I’m going to keep pushing, but for right now, I’m tired.

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