Unmasking the ugly Canadian in hockey crowd

SCOTT HADDOW, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:28 PM ET

For the last two weeks, I've had my say on obnoxious, foul-language using and debris-throwing fans at sports games.

This week, I thought it would be interesting to publish some of the comments I got from people about the columns.

The majority — 99.9 % — are on the bandwagon and agree enough is enough when it comes to unruly and disrespectful fans at minor sports games, and for that matter, all sports games.

I received numerous e-mails and phone calls in support from people across the province and even from the state of New York.

It was inspiring to see and feel that kind of passionate response from readers and people who care about what is going on in our small arenas and gymnasiums in our little communities.

"Being part of a growing and up and coming Hockey organization, The Aviator Hockey Club, in New York City, we have had our share of growing pains in the past couple of years and have dealt with them in the best way that we feel that we can. the rooting out of the "Bad Apples" by punitive means has worked well for us. First in suspending the object of the problem and then banning them as a secondary action, has worked well. We are part of a very large structure that features not only Ice Hockey, but basketball, football,gymnastics and quite a few other sports and has a security team on premise that does not tolerate such nonsense,as you mentioned in your article, along with cooperation from our directors who want to ensure that our events are an enjoyable experience for all involved. Rooting out the problem is always the best and safest course to take and I applaud you for writing this article," John Sacco, coaching director of Aviator Hockey Club.

Here's a few samples of what people have said to me over the last two weeks.

"Excellent column on obnoxious fans. Finally someone — you — standing up and saying something, instead of just looking the other way. And these people are raising children ... scary," said Tom Hedican from North Bay.

"I don't live in the north so I am not a fan of any of the teams you talked about, but I

agree with you about unruly fans. They are everywhere and in every sport and it needs to stop," said Roger Russell.

"I believe there should be a by-law passed to protect some of these hockey loving kids from their obviously unruly parents. Maybe a open letter to the mayors of both cities should really consider this: security cameras in the city arenas aimed at the fans, a written announcement at the entrance to our ice palaces about the need for security and that these people need anger management, civility skill building and an old fashioned kick in the arse (my late Father would say if you don't act like that in your home, you sure as hell shouldn't be acting like that in public). I mentioned to a good friend of mine who gave me this tip to your column that it's clear by the way local fans act and react to winning or losing at a sport should be taken as just that; a sport," said "Yukon" Jack Restoule from Dokis Bay.

"Enjoyed both of them immensely because it is all true. Even in initiation hockey, we have a certain parental and coaching element that needs to be removed. Good job in having the balls to stand up for the silent majority of the fans and the kids who play, and quite often, have absolutely no idea what the fans are so ticked about," said Ryan Love from Greater Sudbury.

"I really like the idea of photos, humiliate those people that ruin a sporting event," said David Sprott.

"I am from the Pembroke area with 30-plus years of coaching minor hockey. One of the things that disgusted me the most was always the behaviour of adult male and female towards players. This was evident over the years that these people didn’t care how young these kids were at times. I was a witness to several fist fights in the stands from this behaviour. I hope that someone, somewhere, somehow is able to do something to curb this. If not I am afraid that not only hockey but all minor sports will be effected," said Randy Anderchek from Pembroke.

"It is up to the clubs to police these morons and it is up to genuine fans to complain about unruly fans,that is the only way to stop this blight that is coming into the game more and more. I have season tickets for my local AHL team and over the season the problem seems to have risen it's ugly head more than once. Don't let this beautiful game be ruined by a few bad apples,let the true supporters demand that these idiots are kept outside the rinks,the atmosphere and the game will benefit," said Andy Ford from the United States.

This brings me to the point.

The people have made their voices heard and the people want to see an end to ridiculous behaviour by fans at sporting events, most importantly at the minor levels.

It can't officially be called a movement, yet, but they're seems to be an undeniable momentum being developed with people over out-of-control fans.

I will continue to bring attention to unruly fans and hope others take the stand as well.

Scott Haddow is the sports reporter for The Sudbury Star. Reach him at shaddow@thesudburystar.com or 674-5271, ext. 249.


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