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Is the jersey toss an effective form of protest?

After sweaters were thrown onto the ice in Montreal and Vancouver, Justin Cuthbert and Julian McKenzie discuss the simple and infantile action that can become a headache for organizations.

Video Transcript

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Jerseys being thrown onto the ice. You caught one in Montreal. I believe you were responsible for the viral tweet. I don't know how viral it was. You can tell me if it was that viral or not. But A Jersey on the ice in Montreal earlier in the week, a Jersey on the ice in Vancouver Saturday night, and a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where are you on just that sort of protest, Julian?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like I mean, it's not my money. It's not my Jersey. If that's what you want to do, that's what you want to do. But I do think it's a bit barbaric and infantile. Like you don't need to be throwing stuff on the ice. I don't even like people-- I don't even like the idea of throwing like my hat for like a hat trick, for example.

The only time I really like stuff being thrown on the ice is when those NHL teams put together those like teddy bear tosses after like a goal scored or whatever they have that promo night. I've been in there in person for one of them. And it was like really awesome to see.

But like throwing a Jersey, like I don't know. What point are you trying to prove? OK. Congratulations. You paid all the money to go to the game, or you got your tickets somehow, some way, and you're just going to give yourself attention by throwing this Jersey onto the ice. I'm not necessarily a fan of it. But like I was just shocked just to see it happen in Montreal.

I mean, apparently, it's happened before. I don't know how long ago it was often the last time it happened. But I saw the Jersey like float to the ice. And I literally just let out an, oh, my God. And like I just I just couldn't believe it. Like it's just surprising to me. Because like I see the Canadians fans have been there for so long. And they'll boo. They'll do all this stuff like chanting Patrick [? Kwa's ?] name, booing Jeff Petrie every time he touched the puck in that game.

But throwing a Jersey onto the ice, that's not something that even registered in my mind. And then to see someone in Vancouver do it. What's crazy about that game is I wasn't watching that game at all, until like the final seconds of the game. I just said, you know what, I just want to see what the score is. I tune in. And within like 10 seconds, a Jersey is thrown onto the ice. That was like so scary to me. I'm like, wait a minute. I've seen this before.

So yeah, I think it's just a dumb thing to do as a fan. But at the end of the day, like it's it's not my money. If you want to do that, if you're willing to part with your Sergei corsets and Jersey by all means, I guess, do that, I guess.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah. I mean, it's very-- like there are-- it's very childish, obviously.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: It is.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: And there's like other things that you can't do at a hockey game or a sporting event. You run on the field. You streak. You do whatever like. You're going to get in trouble. It's so stupid. I don't know why you're getting to do it.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: You're getting your ass handed to you.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: But this one is effective. Like nothing else is effective. It's all like you just laugh it off. But the Jersey being thrown on the ice somehow does work, right? It's probably very embarrassing as a player. It's probably very embarrassing as an organization.

If you're a fan of the team, and you're not that passionate, that you're throwing jerseys on the ice, you're probably embarrassed as well. And it's something that you just don't have a good answer for. If you're in the locker room, and you're going to be asked about it 100%, and there's really nothing you can say. Like it is an effective form of protest despite being so ridiculous. You know, you don't get what I'm saying?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Well, here's my thing about it. In Vancouver, I completely understand that that as a method of protest. Because of the fact that the organization that's in place

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Right.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: from the ownership on down, nothing's looking too good right now.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: And nothing's changing.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Nothing's changing. Fans have been begging for change for some time. In the Montreal case, this literally comes after Marc Bergevin is fire. Look, this is the day before Jeff Gorton.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: And six months after going to the Stanley Cup Final.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah. Like they've had some good. I mean, I'll say this, like yes, they went to a Stanley Cup Final like how many months ago. But let's not forget about the fact that if it wasn't for the pandemic, the Canadians probably don't make the playoffs.

Mark President probably loses his job sooner. Like this is a team that was like not great. They caught fire at the right time. They earned every single series victory that they got in that postseason run. But this was not a team that, by any stretch of the imagination, people legitimately saw as a contending team. And ultimately, with the way that they just kind of stumbled out of the gate for this year, like we clearly saw this is a team in desperate need of repair here.

So not to say that just to justify the fan being frustrated throwing that Jersey. But like this is a Canadians team that has been in need of direction for quite some time. It's just that they already took the steps to try to change that already. And you still throw that Jersey. That's just confusing to me.

I mean, yes, they were losing to the avalanche in that game. But like, I don't know. It just seemed as if like they had already tried to do things to get out of the hole that they're in. They're in the hole. Like you're going to be stuck there for however long you're going to be there.

But like someone threw a shovel from how many feet down, and you're in the process of trying to just dig up, I guess, or I don't know how that works or you're trying to climb. So that's just made it weird compared to the Vancouver Canucks one where people are just, they're chanting firebending. And like almost every game now. Like that Jersey being thrown, and then Brian Dulin of all people just putting the sticks to try to give it back to a fan.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: That's why it's effective. It's like a legitimate scene. Like we're going to remember Dulin and picking it up and trying to put it over the glass. I mean, that's sort of what I'm getting at. It's like, in Montreal, there's no reason to be protesting right now. Like unless you're really against the fact that Jeff Gordon is running the team. Because you believe that, in your heart of hearts, it should be a French-speaking person running.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: People are doing that.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: And you can protest that if you want. But like to protest what they're doing as an organization from a, OK, we're trying to rebuild standpoint, like there's nothing to protest. But one person does it. And again, we question the intelligence of thousands and thousands of people on a daily basis on twitter.com and just in our own lives here.

But one person does it. And Gordon has asked about it, players are asked about, the organization has to deal with it. Like that for that reason alone, it's this like one thing that you can do as a fan. And I'm not condoning it at all. But it actually will have some ripple effect. And that's why it's pretty--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I'm just surprised. That like it happened in Montreal, then it happened so quickly in Vancouver. Like are we expecting the senators to do this next?

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Good second way. Exactly. You know where we're going next.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah. Are the senators going to do this? This is a team that they said, hey, we're done losing. Like are we going to see a senators fan go out and do this? Like also happened to at least give this year, which I completely forgot about. They've been so good.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Oh, yeah. It did happen.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I completely forgot about the fact that it happened at a leaf's game this year. Like really?

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Hey, maybe that's the turning point. You mention it, they've been pretty good since that Jersey was thrown onto the ice.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah. Seriously.

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