October 23, 2009

Sidney Crosby - Union Guy

Cox: When Crosby speaks, NHLPA listens
It was the 22-year-old Crosby, arguably the highest-profile player in the sport
today, who raised his voice last Sunday on a union conference call and firmly
told interim executive director Ian Penny to hang up the phone because union
members wanted to have a players-only discussion. Penny, who had first been
rebuffed in his efforts to have baseball union leader Donald Fehr speak to the
NHLPA team representatives, finally had to relent and get off the line.

Good for him.

Frankly, I've always been one of those people that, if I see something wrong, I'll say something about it. I have no qualms about throwing something out there if I think it's necessary. But the reality is that most people don't want to speak up. They'd rather go along with the crowd and complain bitterly about how things are going instead of trying to do something about it themselves.

So good for Crosby that he's not afraid to speak up. It'd be easy for a younger guy to be intimidated by older players - particularly in regards to something that's not directly about the game of hockey that he may or may not know much about. And also about something that he probably shouldn't have to worry too much about for a while because others with more knowledge and seniority can take care of it for him.

More guys should be doing that - and taking an active interest in how the players association is going about its business. Because it does affect them. In more ways than just one. However, as about half of any given population are sheeple and don't want or like to think for themselves, it's understandable that fewer players are taking an interest than perhaps they should. Add to that that there's also a large chunk of humanity that doesn't want any kind of responsiblity for much of anything, and...well, you get the picture.

The one thing that they should all keep in mind, however, is that they shouldn't care what things look like to the public. They need to focus on what they want to accomplish with the union, get it going in that direction, and not worry about anything else. Being concerned with what the general public thinks about it is just an unnecessary distraction. If it's a true PR concern, then assign some people to deal with that - don't let it become a general priority.

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