“Chirping” in hockey is now offside

Jason Gonsalves Nov 9, 2019

Skating, passing, shooting, hitting, chirping. It’s all part of the game. 

Or is it? 

It seems like chirping is going the way of fighting nowadays – with a very limited presence in the game. 

The word-police’s latest injunction in the GTHL raises the question of “how far is too far?” 

I think we can all agree that there is no place in sports for using words like the N word, or the F word, or other hateful, derogatory terms.  

But the GTHL has now identified the word “pussy,” the statement “you play like a girl,” or anything in relation to likening a player or his play to that of something feminine as gross misconduct, punishable by an 8-game suspension.   

The problem is that “pussy” while intended to be an insult when used on the ice, is not historically a hateful word. 

Personally I think it’s used out of context, and should be replaced with the word “balls,” because truth be told, balls are delicate while pussies have the proven ability to take a pounding.  

“You wanna go Johnny?  C’mon now don’t be a balls!”

As for “you play like a girl,” I can see this being interpreted as demeaning to women so maybe that’s offside.  Women’s hockey has gotten increasingly better over the years.  I personally do not miss a game when our Canadian Women’s team play the Americans.  The level of intensity is just as great as any men’s Canada vs USA game. 

However, is it offside to say that women’s hockey does not meet the level that men’s hockey does in terms of speed and skill due to the fact of biology?  Men have the natural advantage of higher testosterone levels throughout our development; thus, male athletes tend to be bigger, stronger, faster, etc.   

Accepting this to be true, is “you play like a girl” really that offensive to anyone but the player being chirped?  

As good as our Canadian women’s team is, if they played the Toronto Marlies, they would get destroyed. 

At what point does this become an ethical issue regarding free speech? 

Is this sensitivity overload or is there merit in it? 

Regardless of what side you take, I think most of us would agree that an 8-game suspension seems like a rather harsh sentence as it relates to the crime.   

If I were on the ice my chirps would just be to tell opposing players really corny “dad jokes.”

Maybe the answer is in how you take the chirp.  If someone said to me “you play like a girl,” I’d respond with “you mean like Haley Wickenheiser?  THANKS!” 




Jason Gonsalves

Jason Gonsalves is a blogger and podcast personality at deanblundell.com.

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