As most of the PPP readership has come to find out, there's a public rally/protest going on in Toronto. “Hey hockey fans, are you mad?” Is the tag line of a rally/protest called “Hockey Not In Canada (Oh so clever title)”. The main purpose of the rally is to publicly show the fan's frustration over another NHL lockout. That seems well and good, however, it's really, really pointless.
The lockout is a function of a labour negotiation, which doesn't involve the consumer (The fans). Also, letting the league know that your desperate for hockey plays right into their hands. It just means that you will come back the second hockey returns. The main function of this rally is therefore defeated before it even began. Now, I've never been a fan of apathy. In most situations, it solves nothing. However, apathy is clearly the remedy for your anger. You see, if the NHL finds out that bigger pockets of fans begin to lose interest and stop buying things, then they will listen to you. Making a public protest to try and get hockey back, so you can watch and purchase merchandise is so unbelievably counter-productive.
Oh, I'm sorry. I missed a very crucial point. The donation box for "Out of work arena employees". This isn't about getting our favourite form of entertainment back. It's about the people! It's about jobs! This would actually be a noble thing if it weren't so horribly misguided and inherently selfish. Normally, people who want to do a charitable thing, make it front and center in their public showings. However, this helping-hand to arena employees is tacked on to the end. That was done on purpose. It's a very subtle way at garnering sympathy from the skeptics. This "charitable" angle is actually what caused me to write this article in the first place. It's transparent, and trivializes actual unemployment issues and the unemployed.
"Out of work arena employees" is a bit misleading. It's implying that NHL arenas have no other function. None. I take it these protesters haven't actually been anywhere near the ACC for example. NHL arenas play host to a vast amount of events, ranging from concerts, to the NBA etc. Are you telling me that those events wont have a single employee working? I highly, highly doubt it.
At the end of the day, NHL hockey is a form of entertainment. People spend their money to go and be entertained. It's the same as a concert, or a movie, or Cirque Du Soleil. When one ends or gets put on hiatus, people just spend their money on another from of entertainment. As Brian Burke said in an interview with Steve Paikin of the Agenda "We are competing with movies, tv shows and any form of entertainment. We want to put an exciting product on the ice, so that the fans don't spend their money elsewhere". The economy of any city who has an NHL team won't go down the drain. In fact, with the amount of money they spend at other public places, the economy might improve a small bit. Restaurants would start hiring a few more people to offset the increase in customers. So in fact, the cancellation in hockey might be a great thing for people who are out of work in the service industry.
I'm going to wrap things up here. In conclusion, this "rally" isn't so much an honourable, decent thing to do, as it is a showcase of petulant children stamping their feet and crying until their favourite toy comes back. This isn't public response to an "injustice", it's a childish display of spoiled brats who aren't getting what they want. For the love of Science, please stop making arguments about how its affecting jobs and people. You never gave a damn when the auto industry was collapsing and cost a lot of people, including those in Southern Ontario, jobs. You never cried about how the unemployment rate in this country is 7.4 percent. That's roughly 2.2 million people out of work (Probably more, just an estimate). No, you started screaming "JOBS! PEOPLE!" when your favourite form of entertainment was put on hold. Go outside, read a book, hang out with human beings, play a game, watch tv, write something, or even just listen to music. And last, but not least, if you ever want to make the case that this rally is in support of jobs, or even people, then kindly shut up. It's self-serving, and transparent. Just like Hockey Not In Canada.