Holy estrogen, Batman! Look what the Maple Leafs and ESPN have done to hockey’s old boys’ club

There aren’t many things that make a member of the male species pucker up quite like the sound of a medic snapping on a rubber glove for a prostate exam, but I can think of at least three:

  1. Being asked to hold his wife’s/girlfriend’s purse in the middle of a crowded mall.
  2. Being asked to make a pit stop at the local 7-Eleven on the way home to pick up a box of Tampons.
  3. Women in men’s hockey.

The first two make dudes fidget and squirm like mom just found the porn collection, and the third…well, let’s just say there’s a constituency that still travels to and fro in horse and buggy and grapples with the notion of women earning the right to vote.

Doc Wick

We were reminded of this on Monday when the Toronto Maple Leafs forgot that the National Hockey League is an old boys’ club and had the (apparent) bad manners to nudge Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser up the food chain, anointing her senior director of player development.

And, wouldn’t you know it, Hayley’s first order of business was to boost the Leafs’ estrogen level even higher by bringing her former Canadian national women’s team linemate and fellow Hockey Hall of Famer, Danielle Goyette, on board as director of player development, proving Doc Wick already has a good handle on how hockey’s buddy system works.

“If it’s good with Hayley, it’s good with me,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe told news snoops.

What in the name of Gloria Steinem can possibly be next? Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Jennifer Botterill joining Keefe behind the bench?

Naturally, once word of the Leafs’ appointments worked its way along the grapevine, the oinkers rushed to their keyboards like there’d been a “Sooey!” call, and they unleashed a tsunami of sexist tripe. Some examples:

Next hockey night in Canada will be Hayley, Danielle, Cassie and Jennifer. It will be like watching The View.

Laugh’s org. pulling another Nancy.”

Diversity must be the flavour of the week.”

She’ll be the next leafs GM after Dubas.”

So that would make it two female GMs in succession for the Leafs. Such a progressive, woke organization they are.”

Token appointments.”

Alas, the oinkers’ day worsened.

The New York Post reported that ESPN had recruited Leah Hextall to work the play-by-play mic for X number of games during the 2021-22 NHL crusade and, like Doc Wick and Goyette, Leah is not a penis person, so the Worldwide Leader In Sports has some nerve adding a high-pitched, shrill voice to its stable of hockey squawkers.

Leah Hextall

“Horrible and utterly repulsive,” wrote one reader in The Athletic. “Cannot stand how women have to constantly inject themselves in men’s sports because of a deep gender inferiority complex. Don’t care her background, she has never played NHL hockey (obviously) so she possesses absolutely no direct first-hand knowledge of hockey on that level much less playoff hockey. Whoever approved her to work on hockey games is a piece of garbage.”

Someone else expressed a fear that a female play-by-play hockey voice would steer ESPN into the deepest and darkest of rabbit holes, whereby they’d hire a transgender broadcaster.

Oh, the humanity.

I’m quite uncertain where it’s written that a pair of testicles is a requirement for talking hockey. Or football and basketball, for that matter.

Cheryl with Vic and Russ.

I mean, where’s the hue and cry when Dottie Pepper gives us her thoughts during a PGA tournament? And what about Cheryl Bernard and, before her, Linda Moore in natter with Vic Rauter and Russ Howard/Moosie Turnbull during an elite men’s curling match. Oh, wait. It’s only curling, and if you don’t drive by a wheat field and grain silo on your way to work you probably don’t give a damn.

It’s only a female voice in the blurt box of the he-man sports that seems to put men’s boxers in a bunch, even as Jennifer Botterill serves as living, breathing proof that a female is capable of stringing together three or more intelligent sentences on shinny, something that puts her a notch or two above Anthony Stewart and other penis people on Hockey Night in Canada.

The thing is, as far as I know Jennifer has yet to mention feminine hygiene products during her intermission gig, and I doubt that’ll be a talking point for Leah Hextall, either.

So at ease, boys. It might feel like the Leafs and ESPN have given you a good, swift kick to the gonads, but this shall pass.

In the meantime, just remember that real men aren’t afraid to hold a purse in public and, if you know what’s good for you, you won’t forget to pick up the Tampons on the way home.

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