If you look back at the 2019-2020 hockey season, it should be really eye opening to anyone who considers themselves a hockey fan. First came the misdemeanor charge for Auston Matthews, who intimidated a female security guard. Then came the firing of Mike Babcock and then the revelation of this toxic intimidating mind games towards his younger players, then came the revelations that Flames head coach Bill Peters used racist language towards a player of color, Akim Aliu. He was also fired from his job. Then came the firing of long time broadcaster Don Cherry after his xenophobic comments. Then came the racist zoombombing of black hockey player K’andre Miller. And now the Leipsic incidents.
All of these incidents can be looked as isolated, in the moment, and not indicative of what the “culture” is like. And many have chosen to look at it that way, unfortunately. Another way to see this is the symptom of the culture that hockey, and dominant sports fandom creates. The toxic, racist, misogynistic culture that continues today, behind the scenes.