A story that has been overshadowed by the Super Bowl and other events this week is one that involves the coming -- and going, we hope -- of a new term that denigrates gays in the interest of protecting the time-honored ritual of fighting in the NHL. The CBC's "Hockey Night" commentator Mike Milbury used the word "pansification" to describe how the NHL would be softened should the league heed calls to ban the practice. After protest, the CBC has finally stepped in and banned use of the word.
It's good the term has been removed as an option for CBC commentators (although under protest, unfortunately). But the bigger issue remains unchallenged: Assumptions about masculinity, sports and sexuality that continue to privilege the "tough guy" in sports -- contricting culturally acceptable behavior for men and women and encouraging prejudice.