Tuesday, January 8, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Idle no More meets Idle no More

It almost looks like a toy. The agreement between the NHL and its players’ union that ended a painful and unnecessarily long lockout has been met with far more skepticism and bitterness than any rejoicing. Many fans, and even sportswriters, are calling for boycotts of games and of NHL merchandise, the belief being that the league cares only about money and hitting it in the pocketbook will be the retaliatory gesture that hurts it the most. But is it really such a shock that a professional sports league, along with its owners and players, would focus on the bottom line? The most sensible things to do is be thankful the entire season wasn’t lost and just get back to enjoying the game.

Not that there aren’t things to be miffed about. The intermittent and half-hearted negotiations came across as a grudge match between two factions that put pride before everything else. The final deal amounts to little more than the moving around of a few numbers and does nothing to solve the long-term problems facing the league. The most obvious of these problems is the continued existence of bankrupt teams in southern United States cities, such as Phoenix, Arizona. Why Canadian fans will be forced to continue to subsidize this failed experiment through revenue-sharing remains a mystery.

As the aboriginal movement, Idle No More protests continue to grow, comparisons are being made to the grassroots Occupy Wall Street movements that sprang up across the globe in 2011 and helped fuel public discourse on the issue of economic inequality.

But while that issue, if not the Occupy movement itself, found a receptive audience among many, including many Canadians, it is not clear that a protest dedicated solely to aboriginal issues will have a similar impact or spur any kind of change. (Source: CBC News)