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Humboldt Broncos family blacklists CTV over Jess Allen ‘white boy’ comments

The father of a Humboldt Broncos hockey player and bus crash survivor spoke out against CTV.
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

As the online debate regarding the comments of Don Cherry and subsequential comments made by CTV’s The Social host Jess Allen regarding hockey continues on, one family in Canada has decided to blacklist CTV News.

Tom Straschnitzki, the father of Humboldt Broncos junior hockey player and bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki, tweeted his feelings regarding the matter, and he did not mince words.

“Unless CTV does the right thing. The Straz Clan is done with interviews with CTV. If Don Cherry gets fired for saying You People and not calling out race and this tard Called a Race out and still working. We done with CTV,”

The response is the latest part of an ongoing saga with Allen and Canada’s hockey community. The drama began when Allen stated her opinion the firing of longtime Hockey Night In Canada broadcaster Don Cherry,

“I’m told he’s a Canadian icon, and he’s a symbol of the great sport of hockey, which is the sport that unites us across this country, and that narrative is the one that strikes a nerve with me, because I don’t worship at the altar of hockey, I never have,” said Allen, going on to say that hockey players she had experienced growing up around “all tended to be white boys, who weren’t very nice, they weren’t very thoughtful, they were often bullies.”

Those comments triggered a tsunami of tweets, as upset hockey moms and dads unleashed their anger at Allen.

Following this, Allen attempted to clarify her statement. First, on Twitter, saying “I never said every white boy, just the ones whose unsavoury behaviour, which didn’t feel very Canadian, I witnessed. Because of this, I am guilty of having conflicted feelings about hockey being so closely linked to our national identity.”

Another attempt to clarify her statements came in the next day’s episode of The Social, where Allen stated the following:

“It turns out I struck a nerve with many people when I spoke of personal experiences with specific people who were hockey players — white, not typically kind or thoughtful, and typically bullies, from affluent families. I wish these experiences didn’t happen, and they no way negate the positive experiences that millions in this country have had with hockey,” said Allen.

This did all but fan the flames, as Twitter hashtags #FireJessAllen and #FireJessicaAllen both trended on the platform for the better part of Thursday. With her second apology falling flat, Allen again took to Twitter for her third clarification, this time releasing a statement.

“I do have regrets. I regret saying that my experiences were ‘personal’ instead of underlining that they were specific episodes from determined moments with particular individuals. As a result, I offended many people. Not just our viewers, but parents, children, coaches, volunteers, and hockey families everywhere. To you, I apologize.

As outrage continued online, CTV finally released a statement on the matter, acknowledging the calls for Allen’s job.

“Jessica Allen’s comments about hockey have generated an extraordinary response. We’ve been touched by the stories we’ve heard from Canadians everywhere, including fmailies from Humboldt, about what the game means to them,” read the statement.

“We would like to apologize to everyone who was offended by the remarks, and let you know your feedback sparked so much debate and introspection at The Social and CTV. We won’t restrict our hosts from offering their opinions on an opinion show, but we’ll always listen to viewers when they offer theirs,” confirming that the calls for Allen’s firing won’t have any effect.

Amongst those upset by CTV’s response was retired NHL star Theo Fleury, stating that it was “unacceptable” that Allen still had a job as a correspondant.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
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