Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Has Donald S. Cherry Finally Met His Match In The Form Of A Fine Fellow Named...

...Donald S. Cherry?

Just in case you missed it, either because you avoid his rantings at all cost, or because your ossicles reflexively fuse into a molten mass of middle ear sound sludge everytime he comes on the TeeVee, last weekend Don Cherry started spouting off about how women reporters have no place in NHL locker rooms.

Or some such Duncan Hinesian/Keith upside-down-tempest-in-a-tea-cake-dome-type thing.


It turns out that...


I'll just let former sportswriter Robin Herman explain, as she did recently in a 'letter' to Mr. Chery published by ESPN:

Dear Don,

Hi! Remember me? It's Robin, the young woman who used to cover the NHL for The New York Times back in the day.

I haven't seen you in person since the late 1970s, but I caught your remarks on "Hockey Night in Canada" from this past Saturday as they went viral. You were all out of sorts about women reporters in the locker room. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Don't you remember? I guess you don't.

I'd gotten a lot of publicity for breaking "the locker room barrier" at the 1975 All-Star Game in Montreal, but that was a one-off. You were the first coach in the NHL to allow me, a female, accredited sports reporter and member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, into your locker room as a matter of policy. You were coaching the "Big Bad Bruins," and it was ironic that a team with that reputation should be the most forward-thinking in the NHL. Your PR man par excellence, Nate Greenberg, had persuaded you this was the way to go. I was The New York Times' reporter on the NHL beat, after all, and Nate knew his job was to get great coverage of the Bruins. He -- and you -- were gentlemen. And GM Harry Sinden, as gruff and penny-pinching as he was, also had a heart of gold and a sense of what was right. The times they were a-changin' then, and the Bruins organization was smart enough to realize it. You should be proud of what you did...

{snippety doo-dah}

...After the Bruins, other teams started opening their locker room doors. I remember when then-Atlanta Flames GM Cliff Fletcher fell for my gambit when I asked if the players put it to a vote and were OK with it, would he give me access? I pretty much had a straw count ahead of time thanks to player rep Curt Bennett, a friend. Bennett made the case to his teammates in a closed locker room meeting and came out with a thumbs-up. He told me some of the players were not totally comfortable with the idea, but they thought it was the right thing to do...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...By the time I left The New York Times' sports department in 1978, all but four teams in the NHL were allowing female reporters into locker rooms for postgame interviews. Shortly after that, open doors and equitable treatment of female reporters became league policy. The NHL was, in spite of itself, a leader in social change. And I was glad to see the NHL on Monday promptly reaffirm its open-access policy that has existed now for so many decades.

Remember, Don?

OK, I guess a lot of time has passed since then, and maybe you've forgotten the details. But I certainly wouldn't forget the first coach and team to give equal access to a female member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Don, you were my hero.

Best regards,



It's old man misogynist/misanthropic Don against the younger/ hipper 'just-after-Bobby' man Don....

In a Battle Royal to the rhetorical death.

And/or a Rock 'em Sock 'em Robotic punch up without pillowcases or pudding.

Who will prevail?

Who will wear an uglier suit?

Who cares!

And, just in case you really missed it, Robert Gordon was not always Number 4....


1 comment:

macadavy said...

He was a thug when he played, now he's too old to get physical, so he just does verbal thuggery in 'look at me, look at me!' suits. One can only hope Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts his cardiac arrest when the first gay NHL player comes out!