The New Brunswick Saint John Sea Dogs, a hockey team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, cut player Dave Bouchard for not signing a Canadian flag to be sent to troops engaged in the aggressive war of occupation in Afghanistan. The hockey team is a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, which forms part of the McCain family Empire.
The Sea Dogs’ action is not a minor matter. Sea Dogs’ coach Jacques Beaulieu’s criticism of Dave Bouchard has appeared in the mass media throughout the country. According to the coach, Dave Bouchard’s lack of public enthusiasm for Canada’s aggression in Afghanistan reflects an unacceptable standard of morality. Beaulieu denounced his 20-year-old player for “lack of character and a lack of respect for being a Canadian, and it’s just totally unacceptable.” CBC quotes Beaulieu reflecting on someone’s opposition or hesitancy to support the Afghanistan war saying, “Morally, we have standards with this hockey team and that’s a standard that we believe in. I mean, if Dave doesn’t believe in it, that’s fine. But he won’t be part of it. He won’t be part of this organization. That’s the standard that we set.” That is the dictatorship. If young people do not publicly support the policies and activities of the ruling class and its government then those young people will be ostracized and not allowed to participate in civil society at the level they are capable.
Hockey and major junior teams and players form a big part of the Canadian and Quebec psychology. Millions follow the exploits of hockey players and their teams and are greatly influenced by whatever they do. Many hockey players have even become part of the government at various levels such as “Red” Kelly and Ken Dryden. The ruling monopoly capitalist class exercises its dictatorship in part by keeping the individual conscience of players and others associated with hockey under tight control. Players and celebrities must adhere to the thinking, standards and morality of the monopolies and their representatives or they will be banished from civil society and not allowed to participate at the level they are capable and earn a living in their profession. This dictatorship not only keeps most celebrities in line but also the millions of people, especially the youth, who are influenced by hockey and other personalities.
Fans of major junior hockey must not accept this dictatorship either in general or on this particularly important issue of the aggressive war in Afghanistan. Fans should support young Dave Bouchard from Jonquière, Quebec who after all was tied with one other teammate as the leading goal scorer on a team that needs every goal it can get. Hockey fans throughout the Quebec Major Junior League and all Canadians concerned about democratic renewal must demand that Bouchard be allowed to finish out his major junior career in dignity and respect with his individual conscience intact.
TML Daily, December 20, 2006 – No. 200