Earlier in the day, members of a Blackhawks leadership panel — including President and CEO John McDonough and Chairman Rocky Wirtz — gave a similarly lackluster reply to Casey Rathunde, a fan who took to the mic to ask about the skimpy Ice Crew outfits and the team’s insistence on playing “The Stripper” on the organ whenever a woman participates in the Shoot the Puck contest between periods.
Rathunde, a hockey player herself, referred to the panelists’ PR-friendly non-answer (that they appreciated the concern and will be careful about future practices) as an inevitable “dodge.”
"At best, it seems like their female fan base has been an afterthought to them, and these issues are ones that they’ve never given serious attention to," she told me via email.
Guys, I left the Blackhawks Convention happy I’d gone, but also more conscious than ever of just how much of a presence women have in the Hawks fan base and how much that presence is not reflected in the organization or its behavior. Blackhawks brass is reportedly very interested in our feedback, so let’s take them up on that.
I tracked down a Fans’ Voices representative at the convention, but if you, like me, would like to express how you would like the Hawks to, as Casey put it, “do better by their female fans,” might I suggest starting with their Twitter, Facebook or contact information pages?
I love the Hawks, I really do. But I can’t keep supporting them if I know they don’t support us.