Hockey boys: stereotypes and stigmatization


Kevin Chen

A player rushes towards the puck, ignoring the others following him, hoping to score a goal.

Kevin Chen, Staff Writer

Hockey is a very fast paced game.
The players blitz through the ice, diving and crashing into each other for the puck, charging towards the goalposts, spraying snow as they stop just before ramming into the goalie. However, they are not as fast as the pucks, being slammed by the sticks and darting through the air, smashing into the walls and plexiglass, adding to the concussive cacophony of skates scraping and hockey sticks pounding on the ice. By the end of practice, the rink, which was freshly smoothed just before practice, is now an opaque, scratchy white.

A player stops right before hitting the goalie. (Kevin Chen)

Yet amidst all this chaos, there is calm. Even during the hectic hurly-burly of the intense practice bouts, the players take time to listen to their coaches, take water breaks during their off-ice periods, and even wipe off the snow inside the goalposts. But the true calm to be found in hockey is in the mind.
To the players, hockey is worth sinking hours away from homework. Hockey to them is a way to support their school and find a deep bond between their teammates.
“I really like playing hockey for my school just because I can be with all my teammates during the day and do what I love with them after school.” Said captain Michael Bagnoli.
However, there are caveats to this. As detailed by John Becker and Will Schavee’s senior speeches, alongside an article written by the Rubicon, there are negative stereotypes against the hockey players, definitions of which vary.
“The stigma around hockey players is that maybe they think we don’t care about school, maybe we’re like jocks, and outcasts from the other kids, the group that just plays hockey together as one group.” Said varsity hockey player Judah Thomas. Bagnoli used the euphemism “bad people.” However, most of the hockey players have noted that this has improved, with Bagnoli claiming that he and Schavee are attempting to counter these stereotypes with their actions.

A player embraces the goalie after practicing their shots. (Kevin Chen)

And it’s working. The hockey team is filled with determination, grit, and, most importantly, camaraderie, cheering for each other and howling with excitement at their successes.

The entire team huddles in a circle and does the team chant before to end the practice. (Kevin Chen)