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Monday’s FTB: another statue to tear down

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While we’re at it with the slave traders and confederate traitors...

Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Four
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 21: A photo of the Bobby Hull statue outside of the United Center prior to Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

When I first learned there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of Confederate statues in the USA, I couldn’t believe it. The slave-owning losers of the Civil War had statues erected for them? They have monuments to traitors and racists up and down their streets. “Unbelievable,” I said.

Similarly, when I first learned that Bobby Hull, Bobby Hull, had a statue in Chicago I couldn’t believe it. He’s no traitor, and I’m pretty sure he’s never owned a slave, but there is a deep stain on hockey’s image with his name on it. “Unbelievable,” I repeated.

When people make a statue in your likeness, it’s basically a lifetime achievement award. People see that slab of metal in the middle of the road and say, “hey, I should be more like him.” (It’s usually a him). Statues can be a tool to learn about history, especially in museums, but when it’s in a park or on main street, it’s there for your praise.

Bobby Hull should not be praised.

On the ice, you have to scroll to the second page on QuantHockey to find his name among the all-time scorers, which made me laugh. He doesn’t lead Chicago either.

Off the ice, Hull is an abusive, racist man. His second marriage ended after he subjected his wife to multiple charges of “mental and physical abuse” in 1970, and he viciously assaulted his third ex-wife in 1986.

“After several more abusive incidents, she filed for divorce in 1970. However, she agreed to a reconciliation. In 1978, Hull threatened her with a loaded shotgun. Two years later they were divorced...”
ESPN

“A lot of bad memories stem from how my dad acted when he was drinking. When he had been drinking, you’d just know that you didn’t want to be around here.” Michelle [daughter] became a lawyer defending victims of domestic abuse like her mother.
Second City Hockey

In 1998, he told the Moscow Times that “the black population of the United States was growing too fast and that genetic breeding was a worthy idea,” adding, “Hitler, for example, had some good ideas. He just went a little bit too far.”

Many brush these off as mistakes in the past, acting like Hull can grow out of those feelings. Assault and racism are not mistakes, and Hull was 47 and 59 when he defined his legacy. Yes, his legacy. This is it.

Hull is 81 now, and has in recent years worked as an ambassador for the Chicago hockey team. He is part of the image they want to show the world, and they even have a statue out front of their arena to show that.

Tear it down. Hockey fans deserve better.

Tear it down like this.


Leafs Branches

  • In this week’s Back to Excited podcast (now on a bi-weekly basis), the boys talk about racism in hockey, the NHL’s proposal for a return to play, and our plans to begin the Top 25 Under 25 prospect rankings this month. Katya will have more on this later today.

That’s it for hockey news, but on the society front, some progress.

And Giannis Antetokounmpo has something to say.