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Hockey Canada’s Livestrong jerseys causing controversy

The reality of any sort of charitable enterprise is that even the most good-intentioned organizations supporting specific causes raising money and holding power and influence over health research and treatment...End up like any organization that possesses power and influence. They become political entities, and the politics surrounding their power and influence are divisive.

I know breast cancer survivors who unequivocally state that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation helped save their lives, but another dear friend almost hisses audibly when speaking of "The Komen Mafia." I'm a big supporter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, but other advocates for the support and treatment of mental illness deem NAMI to be nothing less than "bonkers."

That's the way it goes for just about every charity, and I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the CBC reports that the Canadian Natonal Women's Hockey Team's taking flak for wearing yellow-accented jerseys at the World Championships because the Livestrong foundation's founding influence happens to be a self-proclaimed "cheater":

In this day and age, there's no way to completely rise above the politics involved in charitable endeavors, but the good tends to outweigh the bad, especially in terms of raising money for people who are ill and need help advocating for and paying for their health care.

Edit: just to clarify, I'm not saying that all charities are "good" or that some don't spend their donations more effectively than others, but one can always research a charity's policies and actual charitable records before donating, and I would imagine that Hockey Canada and their jersey sponsor, Nike, have made an informed decision here.

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Teebz's avatar

It’s not that we don’t support the oddly-colored Canadian uniform in Canada, George. Heck, Canada has worn green (World Juniors in Saskatchewan), pink (first Women’s World Hockey Championship), blue (Gretzky’s World Junior experience), and even throwbacks (Winnipeg Falcons at the World Cup). It’s that Nike/LIVESTRONG took the Canadian identity off these uniforms.

Hockey Canada’s logo isn’t yellow-white-and-black. It’s red-white-and-black, and it is the governing body for all things hockey in Canada. To sell off the colors of your logo - or to have them bought by a corporation - is essentially treason when you represent all that is Canadian hockey.

Of course, the backlash against the LIVESTRONG organization is understandable, but Nike is a huge supporter of the disgraced charity AND they outfit Hockey Canada. I don’t think LIVESTRONG would have approached Hockey Canada having only committed a mere $620K of the $500 million they have raised to Canadian cancer-fighting organizations. This entire move has Nike’s foul odor all over it in terms of furthering their causes rather than Hockey Canada and an effective cancer-fighting organization coming together as partners. Again, if Hockey Canada sold off the jersey or if Nike simply proposed it, both of these companies should be ashamed of themselves for taking everything Canadian about the uniforms off the uniform.

If we cringe at the sight of European uniforms with the myriad of advertising on them, there should be outage for making the Canadian women into skating billboards for LIVESTRONG. Lance Armstrong’s association with the charity is over and they have moved on. Taking a national program’s uniform and making it into a giant advertisement is, pur and simple, a Nike move, and it’s obscenely offensive when it comes to removing all national colors from a team representing a nation of hockey-mad people.

Posted by Teebz on 03/02/13 at 09:12 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.