Does it Really Matter?

Updated: December 4, 2012

MHA Keith Russell has gone on record defending his actions at a recent hockey tournament in which he was ejected from the tournament and handed a six-game suspension for his abuse of officials.  He was recently interviewed and gave his side of the story where he justifies his actions because of “unfair treatment” and “bad officiating” … but does it really matter?

Russell is a coach and yes, coaches do get emotional and passionate when things seemingly don’t go a team’s way or if it appears that an official is being biased.  Russell however forgets to realize that he holds a position of influence as both an MHA and as a coach.  He has to set an example for the children and for the parents.  His justification and rationalization of his actions speaks volumes.

Missed calls are a part of sports.  Bad calls are a part of sports.  The officials are humans, make mistakes and there is no way they can catch every infraction that happens on the ice.  They try their hardest which in this case, was obviously not enough.

For Mr. Russell to somehow vilify the officials and justify his actions as acceptable given the circumstances is appalling.  To act as he did regardless of the circumstances speaks to his true nature and it’s not like he hasn’t opened his mouth and inserted his foot a few other times.

Russell’s six-game suspension was a slap on the wrist given his position.  Now with him speaking out as he did, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador should step in once again and make an example, show the parents, coaches and hockey players this kind of action will never be tolerated.

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