I have always known that my mother's last boss, athlete Dean Bergeron, was paralyzed. But it wasn't before seeing this CBC News report tonight that I learned his injury was the sad result of a fight.
This comes with the good news that such fighting is now banned in Quebec's Major Junior Hockey League. What is concerning—though—is the reaction of players, including Georges Laraque, who seem to believe fighting somehow prevents violence. Would the old adage Si vis pacem, para bellum still apply to hockey
Having never really played hockey, I can't judge that view. Is it just human nature for offenders to find a justification for their actions, or does it highlight that hockey - like many similar sports - is unsalvageably violent? No matter how Canadian it might be, if hockey relies on fighting to ensure its safety, perhaps the Hockey Canada sexual assault scandal is just a symptom of a much bigger problem. If fighting violence in hockey is unrealistic, should we not fight competitive hockey itself?
Radio-Canada has a deeper discussion with Dean Bergeron in French.
Bergeron's accident might have been a blessing by preventing him from more fighting, as a new study on NHL "enforcers" shows how bad these fare.