Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Welcome to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Geraldine, Heaney

If you had asked me before 3pm yesterday who Geraldine Heaney is, I would have guessed a character in a Flip Wilson skit, the actress who played Esther in Sanford and Son or the Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland. I now know that Geraldine Heaney is an honored member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, which strikes me as enormously ironic, considering her notoriety doesn't extend much beyond her family, friends and closest associates.
This is not an anti-Geraldine Heaney diatribe or an exercise in misogyny, but it needs to be said: the induction of Heaney and of Cammie Granato and Angela James before her while infinitely more deserving candidates are rebuffed time and again is a stain on the Hockey Hall of Fame's reputation. Putting expediency ahead of integrity through a transparent sop to political correctness detracts from the Hall's credibility, which has already suffered from an open door policy that caters to too many borderline candidates. That hockey icons and household names like Paul Henderson, Pat Burns and Eric Lindros are turned away while obscure players from a still-marginal segment of the sport are embraced as honoured members of the Hockey Hall of Fame is an injustice. Worse than that, it's not even a heartfelt gesture as much as it's a paternalistic pat on the head from an old boys network that mistakenly believes that patronizing women contributes to gender equality.

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