#HockeyFightsDV: Asking More of Ourselves and the LA Kings

By Chanelle Berlin
In Blogs
Dec 3rd, 2014
0 Comments

While watching the Kings play the Bruins last night, THX BUD decided to put some money on the game.

hockeyfightsdv-kingsbruins

We’ve mentioned #HockeyFightsDV on Twitter in the past, and Shana Naomi recently listed it among the things she was grateful for this Thanksgiving, but we hadn’t publicly pledged anything through this site. We’re starting now by giving to Human Options.

We learned about Human Options thanks to Puck Daddy’s Jen Neale interviewing two of their employees to give people more information about domestic violence and its impact. After giving money based on the game, we’re also going to take some of their tangible wish list items in for donation.

Our numbers breakdown for Tuesday night’s game:

120 shot attempts: 0.25 ea = $30
66 Hits: 0.50 ea = $33
2 goals: $1 ea = $2

Total: $65

Abby G matching what we’ve got doubles the amount.

FINAL AMOUNT = $130

New, disappointing developments in how defenseman Slava Voynov’s being handled obviously prompted this for us.

On Tuesday morning, the LA Kings organization made the decision to blatantly violate Voynov’s indefinite suspension while being investigated for felony domestic violence charges. When asked for comment, coach Darryl Sutter and GM Dean Lombardi both said that it was all a mistake of timing. Voynov got onto the ice early. Lombardi also indicated to LA Times reporter Lisa Dillman that his concerns were for Voynov in the moment.

Since Voynov’s suspension terms banned him from all team activities, mandatory or optional, the NHL rightly fined the Kings $100,000.

Here’s the thing: Voynov hasn’t been banned from having any contact with his employers or teammates whatsoever, so if they want to make sure he stays connected to people, do it off ice. An organization that has been praised for how well it finagles the cap trying to sell this as some kind of mix up insults their own intelligence and everyone else’s. They tried to get away with something. They got caught.

They also, whether consciously or not, sent a message to their fans that getting Voynov — a man, again, currently charged with causing corporal injury to his wife — on the ice is worth disregarding fans who want to see domestic and intimate partner violence taken seriously. Pushing the limits of a suspension is more important than even pausing to think that Kings fans, some of whom may be dealing with domestic abuse, deserve at the very least a heads up before pulling a stunt beat reporters would obviously catch. Five For Howling’s post on the suspension violation explained the larger damage done really well.

This is bigger than one player’s career. It’s even bigger than the domestic violence incident itself. It’s about how a prominent team squarely in the public eye chooses to act on an issue that the sport has struggled to come to terms with for a long time. Domestic violence can never be tolerated in any circumstance for any reason, because the consequences of doing so are degrading, dehumanizing, and even fatal.

The Los Angeles Kings don’t seem to understand that.

I felt ashamed to be a Kings fan yesterday. I felt ashamed of giving an organization money that commodifies my emotional investment and doesn’t seem to want to make the effort to return the compassion beyond slick-looking music video montages. I need this franchise that I care so much about to hold themselves accountable on this much more serious issue the way they do when discussing their recurring goal-scoring slumps.

THX BUD will soon set different ongoing donation numbers based on the Kings’ performance throughout the rest of season. All money and supplies will be given to Southern California shelters and organizations that deal with domestic abuse prevention and aid abuse victims and survivors.

The Kings can do better. We, as hockey fans, can do better and can encourage better from the franchise(s) we support. #HockeyFightsDV isn’t the only way to get involved, but it’s a good suggestion for one way to start.

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Chanelle Berlin
The first laptop Chanelle Berlin ever got was a dinosaur of an HP machine as a reward for good grades. Stay in school, kids. You'll get computers, and then you can troll strangers on the Internet.

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