SBD/August 14, 2014/Franchises

Blackhawks Answer Female Fan Complaints, Will No Longer Play "The Stripper"

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Blackhawks President John McDonough said that the team's "long-standing" practice of organist Frank Pellico "playing 'The Stripper' while a woman participated in the second-intermission 'Shoot the Puck' promotion will stop," according to Mark Lazerus of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. A "recent online movement to ban the song, including a #BanTheStripper hashtag and an online petition, called the Hawks out for the rather blatant sexism that was inherent in the contest." McDonough said that the club "heard their fans' message loud and clear." McDonough: "We have to listen. We have to be aware. We have to react when appropriate -- not overreact, but react. We take all of this very seriously." He added, "We have had to take a look at every single element, every aspect of our operation, our hockey business from A to Z. I certainly have read the stories, and I understand the sensitive nature of all of that." McDonough said that the club is having "internal discussions about how to make female fans feel more welcome at the United Center" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/14). In Chicago, Blake Schuster notes Blackhawks fan Casey Rathunde "raised concerns of sexism" during a Q&A with management during the team's convention last month. Rathunde said, "I’m glad that they’re hearing what their fans have to say" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/14). ESPN CHICAGO's Scott Powers noted Marissa Miller, another Blackhawks fan, started gathering online signatures for the petition on Aug. 6 asking the team to "treat their female fans the same as their male ones." Miller: "This is the time to do the right thing. To say to women, we hear you, and we respect you enough to treat you the same as men" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 8/13).
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