Hockey thuggery

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It is beyond my comprehension that a blatant attack by one human being on another is less criminal on the ice of a hockey rink than on a sidewalk. The attack by Boston’s Shawn Thornton on the Penguins’ Brooks Orpik should have prompted police action and he should have been taken out in handcuffs. No favorites here; the same goes for the Penguins’ James Neal.

The PG’s Ron Cook made my day when he wrote about the incidents in his column. As he states, “The NHL continues to tolerate — even encourage — gratuitous violence in its otherwise elegant sport” (“NHL Fails to Police Its Game Properly,” Dec. 10).

I have watched for too long the ridiculous dancing around of the eunuch referees, who watch the stupid schoolyard brawls and then finally step in when they think the fans are satisfied. It is not because they are in fear of getting hit, because that could be easily remedied.

Imagine the same thing in football; you let a fist fly toward a referee and you may not be in the sport for a long time. There are some really big dudes in football, and I don’t see the referees standing by and letting them go at it.

It is time they clean up this sport. The fans share in the blame as long as they still cheer for the kind of behavior that encourages physical attacks. I thought it was interesting that Shawn Thornton is referred to as an “enforcer.” It was said that if Brooks Orpik had done the honorable thing and just fought him, this wouldn’t have happened. Where is the honor in this kind of action?

I have vowed to never watch hockey again until the NHL becomes the “enforcer” and makes this sport the “elegant” sport that Ron Cook called it. It is such a great game of talent and speed, so why reduce it to the level of studio wrestling?

PEGGIE P. RICHARDSON
Upper St. Clair


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