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Governor General: “If you want to fight, go in a boxing ring”

Apr 19, 2012, 5:51 PM EDT

David Johnston

Add the Governor General of Canada to the list of those decrying the violence we’ve seen in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

“When our kids see this beautiful game where the idea is to injure someone, or to escalate the level of conflict every time the play stops, it’s just not the way we raise our children,” David Johnston told the Canadian Press.

Johnston, 70, played hockey at Harvard, where he was the captain of the varsity team.

He also suffered three concussions as a teenager from playing hockey and football.

To be clear, Johnston doesn’t want to remove the physical elements of the game, just the fighting and unnecessary violence.

“[Hockey’s] rough in the right sense. It’s fast and there are collisions,” he said. “Hockey is not a violent game. … It has no place for fighting. If you want to fight, go in a boxing ring.”

If you’re wondering, the governor general is the queen’s representative.

The queen has yet to comment on the NHL playoffs.

Though apparently she’s a big Kings fan.

I’ll show my way out.

  1. bleed4philly - Apr 19, 2012 at 5:52 PM


    • crosberries - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      Even Pittsburgh and Philly can get along on this subject. Worry about the other million things going on in the world instead of athletes who are paid millions to play the game they love. They can always find another occupation.

      • bcisleman - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        He is the Queen’s representative in Canada and hockey is the national sport and a vital part of Canadian culture. It isn’t about the athletes themselves, but about the example they set for the nation’s children and the way it reflects on Canadian life.

      • habsman - Apr 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        Canada’s national sport is Lacrosse.

      • joeyjojoshabadoo - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:21 PM


        Officially Canada has two national sports: Lacrosse (summer) and Hockey (winter). Unofficially Hockey is obviously Canada’s national sport.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        Not sure why they just haven’t accepted Canadian football as Canada’s summer sport. Lacrosse schmacrosse I say…IMHO.

  2. DTF31 - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Great to see he’s wasting my tax dollars worrying about something he has zero input over.

    • bcisleman - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      He just gave his input and how is he wasting any money by voicing an opinion?

  3. cableguymike - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Gotta love a guy who is paid by the Canadian taxpayer to pretty much do nothing starts preaching from the pulpit.

    • bcisleman - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Pretty much do nothing? Among his many responsibilities and activities, he has been to Afghanistan at least twice to visit CF forces in the field. How many times have you gone?

      Also, in addition to what is mentioned in the piece, he played U-17 hockey with none other than Phil and Tony Esposito. He is as well placed as anyone to give an informed opinion on the subject.

      • kitshky - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        Well his office’s most important responsibility is to ensure that Canada has a prime minister and government in place that has the confidence of Parliament, so I suppose technically the office should receive some credit for giving us the unique (at least unique to our brothers to the South) ability to oust a leader if the Country has lost confidence in him/her …

        And he is the Queens representative in Canada so at least we have someone representing a powerless figure head when she’s not here …add all that to visiting the troops once or twice and …ya ..basically nothing.

        (More to the point, if you like fighting you should go to a boxing match … or a hockey game. It’s an integeral part of the game and it’s not going anywhere,)

      • cableguymike - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        Here, I’ll make you a deal. Give me his job and his paycheck and I’ll go there whenever you want me to.

        Seriously, though. Are you for real…? The guy is a figure head with no real responsibilities. It’s a cushy appointment with a really nice payday and that’s about it. Do you give the head of Translink the same respect because all though the guy sucks at least he is paid to (in theory) at least actually do something of tangible value for the money….

  4. ktipper - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    First of all Mr. Governor General, hockey is a violent sport. That is what it is. Boxing is a violent sport, UFC is a violent sport, hockey is a violent sport.

    I never understood the argument that if you want to fight, go in the boxing ring. Fighting is a part of boxing, fighting is a part of hockey. Players know full well that fighting is a part of the game and it is going to happen. Not to mention, there are more boxers knocked out than I have ever seen hockey players knocked out in a fight.

    If the argument is made that hockey is the same without fighting, I completely disagree. Look at what has happened without the instigator rule. Players like Marchand and Bolland run around with no fear of what they do. Imagine what will happen if fighting is completely removed. I still think there would be fighting anyways.

    • warpstonebc - Apr 19, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      Except that fighting is only a part of pro and semi-pro hockey. It is not endemic to all levels of the game. Very few of the millions of people that ever play this game ever drop glove. The point is to score goals. Fighting is a part of the game, but it’s not a fundamental goal of hockey in the same way that is in boxing/mma.

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:12 PM

        You forgot junior hockey and beer leagues

  5. rebel21das - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Really…..Sport Illustrated did a poll from the NHL players asking them if they wanted fighting or to get rid of it altogether…’s the results.

    “Should the NHL ban fighting?

    NO 99.5%

    YES 0.5%


    Only one player indicated that fighting should be banned…. In an SI Facebook poll, 90% of respondents were opposed to a ban….”

    People have no balls today…….Suck it hard Governa

  6. garagehero1 - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Huh? What? This guy is the Gov Gen of a country that glorified vilolence and cheating in hockey, glorifies cheap shotters and cold-cockers?…glorifies cheap shot artists like bobby orr, bobby clarke, crosby, malkin, bertuzzi, carcillo, etc…that Gov Gen???

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      your post confuses me

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        That makes two of us. Never heard Bobby Orr referred to as a cheap-shot artist before.

  7. cuffhimbanano - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Maybe the NHL should ban fighting for one season. Then when the cheap shots, dirty hits, and serious injuries exponentially increase we can finally stop hearing from morons who think fighting needs to go.

  8. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    For garagehero: I’m assuming you’re American so I’ll simply counter you’re attack on our Governor General by asking you to rationalize the behavior of a country that elected war mongering scum with historic affiliation to the Nazi Party into the White House…George Bush Sr. And George W Bush, I rest my case! Found any WMDs in Iraq lately? On a sports note, let’s talk about the ballyhooed ‘Miracle On Ice’ in 1980! Was there ever a greater fraud perpetrated in the name of hockey than the officiating in the Gold Medal game…wait, move over to boxing in the LA Olympics where the Americans were racking up Medals for back-pedaling for three rounds [ red white and blue…more like yellow as in the stripe down the middle of their backs ]. Finally, fighting is not part of hockey historically…that’s a myth perpetuated to nurture the game for the benefit of low brow pencil neck heroes whose chief virtue is a life time of being picked last and who have never actually been in hockey equipment let alone a hockey fight. But hey, don’t let all those guys with all the funny letters after their names who have reams of empirical data demonstrating fighting and overt contact in hockey is slowly killing everyone who ever engages in those activities from the age of six onward dissuade you…what would rational science know when held against beery input from ‘real hockey’ fans. GTF you moron…

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      Mr thehighcountrybear, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  9. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    True enough habsman…and we’re the best at that too!

  10. barkar942 - Apr 19, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    “Canada’s national sport is Lacrosse.”

    Only when the ice melts.

  11. coacheskid - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    High country you’d be speaking German right now if it wasn’t for US

    • habsman - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

      In WWll, Canada was fighting in Europe for two years while you were sitting on your ass.

      • coacheskid - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

        Losing not fighting

        Hence why we had to come and save your arse

      • habsman - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:55 PM

        Nope, fighting. Canada has never lost a war. Even vs. the US. Check out the war of 1812.

    • kitshky - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      Well that’s not true … but if you’re point is that we should all have mutual respect for each other over how successful the Allied Troops were in WWII, then ya I’m with ya.

      • habsman - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:57 PM


    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      I love it when little kids think the US single-handedly won that war. I bet you had no idea that Russia paid a higher blood price than you guys and helped turn the tide of the war as much as you did by entering into it late.

  12. kingjoe1 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Effin old people…hey fighting is part of the sport, why do these non-hockey fans not get it? Okay so let’s say MMA decided to remove kicks would the sport be the same, no.

    I agree cheap ass head shots need to go, but manning up and protecting the little guy who can skate is part of the game. If you don’t like it go play bingo.

  13. n0hopeleft - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    How does this dbag call himself Canadian. Leave the sport alone!

  14. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    So whose ‘arse’ was saved in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan…when are Americans gonna get tired of having their lunch served by men in black pajamas and goatherds? The fact of the matter is, big boys with small penises get their rocks off watching bigger boys with smaller penises pound each other half senseless…then they call it hockey and attempt to rationalize the farce as sport [ crack me another Bud will you ]? Actually, I call myself an Albertan, and view the Federation of Canada as an unnecessary burden on the glory and wealth of Alberta! That’s what makes it great to live in a so-called democratic society possessed of a constitutional right to freedom of thought and opinion…one can share ideas and respond to counterpoint accordingly. Incidentally, I’ve played hockey for 44 years and still play three times a week with players half my age…never had a fight, but then I’m six seven and tip the Toledo around 230. Any other questions from the girly boys among you…

    • coacheskid - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      Ever see a grown man naked?

      • habsman - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:11 PM

        Stop the day dreaming.

    • kitshky - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      Oh dear Gad of cooourrse you’re from Alberta …

      Dude if you’ve played hockey for 44 years then you should old enough to have a rational conversatoin without calling people girly boys, giving us a story of boys getting their rocks off like you’re 15, or rambling on about decades old International sporting events and mistakes in US political policy.

      Do yourself a favour and grow the hell up.

  15. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Too right habsman…the Americans were content to wait until they were able to rationalize conversion of an arms industry that was actually supporting and selling arms to Hitler. While that war and all war is an absurdity, the absurdity of the war did not stop war profiteers including the Kennedy family from getting scandalously rich from war profiteering while selling to both sides! WW II saw the advent of the American Military Industrial Complex that fuels their need to act as the world’s police force through the present while the select among it’s citizenry continue to get rich and richer…all fueled by bastardized notions of democracy and patriotism: patriotism being used to send the poor and disadvantaged to carry arms against their fellow man at great personal loss while the Ivy League set are left to ponder difficulties in the coming debutante season…

  16. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    For kitshky: actually, had you followed the thread, the comments were directed at ‘garagehero’, while the rest countered other input from the ‘I don’t agree with you so you’re not a true hockey fan set’. For coachekid: I already speak German, French, Norwegian and Spanish while being fluent in Latin though not by choice. I’m working on Chinese but it’s a bit of a chew no doubt. Now to close and for the record for the history illiterate buffoon responding earlier, Germany invaded Poland, Italy and France…were beaten by the Russians through a bitter winter, but never crossed the English channel. Yes, the American’s saved asses but none of the asses saved were those of Canadians and English. Now, tell me again whose asses the Americans saved in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan…

    • sizzle299 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM

      Whose country fought for its independence and whose country cowered for scraps at the foot of the kings table until he got tired of you and cut you loose?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:57 AM

        If it wasn’t for that kid up there you would win the ‘Most Ignorant Comment of the Post’ award hands down. I get tire of people trying to argue about how much better the US is than Canada when they clearly know the history of neither.

  17. norcalirish - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Lol! I’m happy that the queen of england rules over thehighcountrybear.

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