LATEST: Crosby says reports that he’s trying to punish the NHL aren’t “even close (to accurate).“
UPDATE: Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson says that Crosby hasn’t even mentioned skipping the All-Star Game.
EARLIER: Reports indicate that Sidney Crosby is prepared to boycott the NHL All-Star Game in protest of the league’s failure to punish players that injured him with hits to the head.
To be fair, Crosby hasn’t said anything publicly about skipping the game out of protest. This is just a rumour at this point, and the thinking is that if Crosby does indeed skip the game he will publicly say it’s because he isn’t healthy enough to play.
Crosby’s stance in favour of protecting players is a strong move by a young superstar with tons of influence, but because of his reputation he comes across as a whining baby with this move.
Since Crosby entered the league he has had a reputation for diving, complaining to referees, and generally appearing to expect preferential treatment.
He’s the face of the league, and like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in the NBA, he probably does deserve a bit more help from the NHL than other players. But for Crosby to sit out the All-Star Game, an event for the fans, is not the right move.
Crosby has made his point here and he’s been outspoken on head injuries before. He’s made it clear that he’s not happy with how the league reacted to his injuries and thinks the powers that be need to do a better job of protecting the NHL’s stars. The league will undoubtedly take note, because an unhappy Crosby is not good for anyone.
But while Crosby sitting out the All-Star Game would be a nightmare for the league, the real losers in this situation are the fans. Much like the proposal by NFL analyst Antonio Pierce that the players should walk out in the middle of the playoffs, Crosby’s act will certainly get everyone’s attention and could force the league to make changes. But in the meantime the fans would miss out on seeing the best player in the league in the NHL’s biggest talent showcase.
He’s trying to use his power and leadership to promote change, but he’s doing more harm than good.
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