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Canada's Green Party names pugilist-turned-politician Georges Laraque their deputy leader

Jul 31, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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laraquethepolitico.jpgIt might be hard to believe, but one of the league’s best fighters in ages retired to a life that some might describe as cuddly. Some might even call him a “tree hugger.”

Georges Laraque retired from hockey after being bought out by the Montreal Canadiens and the politically active pugilist was just named the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Elizabeth May has named former Montreal Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque as the Green Party’s deputy leader, in an apparent move to boost the party’s political presence in Quebec.

Laraque, 33, replaces Jacques Rivard, who left the Greens for the Bloc Quebecois last month.

Laraque is known for being politically active. He became a vegan in 2009 to protest the treatment of animals in the food industry, and explained his decision in a lengthy post on his website, GeorgesLaraque.com.

“I love animals, and I don’t believe humans can treat them as commodities and cause them harm,” he wrote.

Laraque is an example of an enforcer whose off-ice demeanor breaks character. Fighters and bruisers can be some of the kindest, gentlest hockey players around even if they beat the bejesus out of each other for a living. It’s refreshing and kind of amusing to read Laraque give the kind of quotes you’d normally read from a teenage celebrity who weighs 80 lbs. (not 260 lbs. like Laraque).

Congratulations to Laraque. Might he follow fellow former-Canadien Ken Dryden and pursue a high-profile politician in Canada? We’ll have to see about that one.

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