Reportedly, Don Sanderson of the OHA Whitby Dunlops has died as a result of complications sustained in a fight during a game on December 12th, 2008. I’m at a loss for words, in a sense, regarding this tragedy. I’ve cheered on Marty McSorley and still find myself drawn to crowing for my favorite teams goon when I’m watching an NHL game, but I would hope that Hockey’s leaders will finally take a view to eradicating intentional violence from the game. The fact that this happened in a league outside of the NHL shows that a “culture of violence” has no place in the sport. Lives and careers are more important than “Market Value.” Let’s leave the fighting and killing to the military and the thugs of the world.
Note: I’ve since learned that the OHA is a league that ejects players from the game for fighting. I don’t know if it changes anything, but it must be considered by both factions in the “fighting” debate. To the ‘anti-fighting” crowd I think it shows that harsher penalties for fighting don’t mean there won’t be fighting – which would appease the ‘pro-fighting’ guys a bit. But, for the ‘pro-fighting’ crowd the fact that there are harsher penalties and yet a death still occurred indicates that harsher penalties won’t change much of anything.
Of course there are those that compare the dangers of fighting in hockey to the dangers of driving a car, but they obviously don’t have much education because the potential for danger while driving does not come paired with the freedom to ram into drivers you don’t like.