The battle lines: politics and hockey

On the heels of a disastrous midterm election in which the United States came within one seat of losing its House majority, a speech this week from the Premier of Quebec grabbed the attention of hockey fans in the world’s most popular sport: “History is unfolding now, and, I think, sadly, hockey … will not be among the outcomes of this moment.”

In New York this weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had talked about the need for women to “have an opportunity to play with boys.” On Monday, our own Andrew Das explained that more women than ever are stepping up as sports journalists — but that they still face challenges. And on Monday, the Washington Post’s Hayley Tsukayama covered Canada’s new first female hockey coach, Christie Blatchford. Blatchford told D, a/n that she’s not a feminist, but she wants to bring women’s hockey to the same level as her male counterparts, and thinks Canada has one of the best national teams in the world: “I want more players to make the national team.”

It makes sense that Quebec Premier François Legault says hockey doesn’t have a place in the party he leads: A “nation that benefits from … a hockey game between two countries” won’t be able to contribute to the development of any national team in Canada, he said, sounding anything but optimistic. But this shouldn’t make for fun night out viewing — especially when the prime minister of Quebec and the prime minister of the United States are messing with our favorite pastime.

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