On the first night of the 2012-13 hockey season, players from the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs broke into bloody fistfight, leaving one of them knocked out cold on the ice.
Fighting in hockey is a divisive issue, and the division was made obvious in the wake of Tuesday night’s game.
“What are the kids going to learn from this, you teach your kids not to fight and then they watch two adults fighting while playing a game. This is not ok. It makes no sense, this is not what hockey is about.” (Jen, via comment board)
The debate among Global News viewers got even more galvanized following Wednesday evening’s Global National broadcast.
At the top of the broadcast, anchor Dawna Friesen expressed a personal take about violence on the rink.
Friesen, who watched the game with her son, shared the fact that she had to explain to him why the players were able to throw punches and get away with it, while on the street they would be charged with assault.
Have a look:
That sparked further comments about the issue, but also a debate over whether Friesen should have shared her comments in the newscast at all.
There were those that applauded her for echoing their voice.
“Congratulations on your lead tonight Dawna. After being so frustrated all day waiting for a voice of outrage, you provided it in spades. Damn fine. Thank you. I feel much less alone on this issue of wanting to watch “our” game for the skill. And skillfull stick handling that was from you this evening. You shot. You scored. M.” (Merv C., via email)
And, there were many who felt the comments had no place coming from the anchor desk.
“In regards to Hockey Fighting report-Donna Friesen should keep her opinions to herself… Maybe ill tune back in when you get a less bias reporter.” (J. Matthewson, via email)
“I just watched your program about hockey fighting in the NHL and found it very inappropriate… I found it very upsetting and disrespectful. Upsetting enough to take time out of my evening just for the chance someone will read this. There are freak accidents in every sport.. Fighting is part of the game… if you don’t understand that then watch something else…” (Tim Latour, via email)
“I was disappointed at the way your anchor presented the issue about hockey fighting. Whether one agrees or not, it seems an abuse of position to project her personal anecdote regarding her son and having to explain hockey fighting to him. Your place as a broadcaster should be to present the facts on the news without editorial comment… Please try to be more consistent, objective and display more professionalism in your reporting.” (Shawn Dulmage, via email)
Friesen engaged some of the viewers on Twitter following the broadcast to share why this debate is different than sounding off on subjects such as politics.
Global News also conducted a poll to see how viewers feel about allowing fights in hockey. Here are the results, so far. Feel free to vote or add your thoughts on the debate in the comments section below.