Do blood-splattered enforcer cards glorify violence?
The bereaved mother of a deceased NHL enforcer said she is disgusted by a new series of blood-splattered cards meant to honour hockey's tough guys.
"I'm vibrating right now. This is disgusting to me," said Lorraine Belak, whose son Wade Belak was found dead in August after years of depression.
But the company behind the cards said the series, which is due for release in January, is intended to pay homage to the game's enforcers -- the so-called "goons" of the hockey rink who routinely give and take hits for the team.
Brian Price, the owner of "In the Game" trading cards, said the series is not meant to offend anyone.
"We're not glorifying violence. We're playing tribute to the players," he said. "I'm not in charge of policing the way the game of hockey is played but no one can deny that Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley had a role in Wayne Gretzky scoring over 800 goals."
The cards are due for release just months after the high-profile deaths of three former enforcers.
In addition to Belak, former players Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien were found dead in their homes in May and August, respectively. The deaths prompted discussion of the addictions and depression many enforcers suffer, which may be linked to brain trauma.
Georges Laraque, another former player featured on the cards, said he agreed to be involved in the series but does not want his image paired with fake blood.
"As much as this is what I did for a living, and I always defended fighting, because that's what I did for 13 years, I always felt bad I was promoting violence to kids," said Laraque.
Do the cards offend you? Do you think the cards pay tribute to enforcers or glorify violence? Can they do both? Let us know what you think in the comments.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
- What more should be done to protect hockey players?
- Should fighting be banned from hockey?
- Do enforcers have a role to play in NHL hockey?
- Hockey bodychecking: At what age should contact be allowed?
- Concussions: Should the hockey bodychecking age be raised in Canada?
- Your Comments: Violence in hockey
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