Bob Sirois’s book Discrimination in the NHL Quebec Hockey Players Sidelined has sparked some real debate in the media. Invited to Toronto to appear on TSN’s Off the Record with Michael Landsberg, Bob Sirois found that former New Jersey Devils star Bobby Holik agreed “100%” with him. Watch TSN Excerpt
He also has been interviewed many times on radio in Ontario and the West. Globe and Mail reporter Jeff Blair interviewed bob on Fan 590.
While in Toronto, he alos met readers and some local media at the Toronto bookstore A DIFFERENT BOOKLIST at 746 Bathurst.
The book has also been reviewed — and criticized — by Stephanie Myles in the Montreal Gazette and the Edmonton Journal in an article Sirois spices discrimination debate.
Here is Bob Sirois’ reply to that article:
Discrimination in the NHL?
In the Gazette’s review of Discrimination in the NHL, Quebec Hockey Players Sidelined (Hockey Inside/Out, Nov. 16, p. D18) the lack of first-hand accounts is criticized. These were purposely set aside in order to focus on facts. The model used was that of American sociologist David Marple who first identified discrimination towards French-speaking hockey players in the 1970s. He had previously identified similar discrimination against African Americans in professional basketball. Moreover, Professor Marc Lavoie of the University of Ottawa oversaw the methodology used. Doubt is cast on my conclusions about defensive hockey played by Quebecers, yet no reference is made to the most important figures, namely those drawn from Professor Lavoie’s study analysing defensive play in all junior leagues in Canada and showing that defence is equally important in Quebec, if not more so.
Michael Landsberg of TSN asked me on air what the most important point is. I replied, “when I talk about discrimination, I’m talking about equal or comparable talent. Most NHL teams, at equal talent or comparable talent, will not take a Quebecer, will not take a European, they will not even take an American player, they will take a good ol’ Canadian boy.” Landsberg then asked former Devils Star Bobby Holik what he thought. Holik replied, “I agree with him 100%. Because I’ve experienced it myself where I believe I had to fight for my spot, fight for my ice time, more and longer than the Western Canadians or Ontario-born and raised.”
Bob Sirois, author of Discrimination in the NHL
Montreal, November 16, 2010