". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Hockey Canada Bans Locker Room Showers, Changing for Under-18 Players to Show Trans ‘Inclusion’

October 20, 2023

While the NHL seems to have embraced some sanity on LGBT extremism, Hockey Canada’s goal seems to be making the sport so radical that it’s uncomfortable for kids to even play. Under a new rule that went into effect this season, all under-18 players — girls and boys — have been ordered to stay clothed in their locker rooms for the purposes of trans “inclusion.”

According to the group’s spokesperson, Esther Madziya, “All participants have the right to utilize the dressing room or appropriate and equivalent dressing environment based on their gender identity, religious beliefs, body image concerns, and/or other reasons related to their individual needs.” What she doesn’t say is that those “rights” end when players want to use the dressing room for its intended purpose: freely changing in and out of cumbersome gear and washing up afterward. Instead, they’ll now be required to wear a “base layer” to ensure that no one’s privacy or identity is violated.

This lunacy is being embraced by people like Craig Robinson, president of Halifax Hawks Minor Hockey, who argued, “It really doesn’t take very long to jump into a washroom stall and do a quick change …” he said. Besides, “Coaches can’t always visually identify and automatically know what gender someone identifies with, so this just allows everybody to fit into that dressing room.” He paused and added, “This isn’t just about gender, it’s about everyone being comfortable.”

As a part of the hockey world, surely Robinson understands how ridiculous that statement is. No player — from peewee to pro — would be “comfortable” changing in a tiny three-by-three stall when you’re wearing, arguably, some of the most complicated equipment in modern sports. This isn’t like taking off a bathing suit. It’s a labor-intensive process of taping and untapping, maneuvering in and out of socks, pants, pads, skates, chest plates, and more. I’ve never suited up for a game in my life, but even I understand the absurdity of this from a practical standpoint.

As for Hockey Canada’s insistence that this satisfies both sides of a very explosive culture war, they’re wrong. For starters, they’re turning an entire sport upside down to accommodate an infinitesimal number of players. And it doesn’t matter if your son or daughter doesn’t have a trans-identifying teammate, they’re still subject to this policy. Obviously, it’s the organization’s misguided attempt to protect privacy without any basis in reality or common sense. How will players shower with clothes on? If changing is taboo, leaders presume washing up is too.

Robinson admitted to the press that there’d been pushback about the change from parents across Canada. No wonder. Anyone who’s stepped foot in a hockey locker room knows that the stench is a unique kind of trauma to the senses. Now, Hockey Canada is forcing kids to keep their smelly gear on longer — which, moms and dads rightly argue, isn’t just disgusting, but a legitimate hygiene concern. It’s a small price to pay, Robinson insisted, for tolerance.

As The Post Millennial points out, not everyone is jumping on the “inclusive” Zamboni. Aaron Gunn, a candidate for MP in North Island, blasted the decision by Hockey Canada as “completely insane.” “Kids, up to age 18, are now not allowed to get changed in a hockey dressing room or shower at the rink because coaches may not “automatically know what gender someone identifies with.”

Frankly, what’s the purpose of even having locker rooms at this point? Pep talks? Family Research Council’s Meg Kilgannon wonders if this “might be what it takes to get the liberals in Canada to confront what’s actually happening in society.” In the meantime, she asked, “Where do the parents go for reimbursement for impetigo treatment or the candida infections their children will suffer because of this insanity? Anyone who would come up with a policy like this should not be in charge of children’s sports — or much of anything else.”

FRC’s Mary Szoch, an NCAA Division I athlete who also played four varsity sports in high school, couldn’t believe this was our northern neighbor’s “solution” to the transgender debate. “Hockey Canada seems to misunderstand that the issue isn’t with changing in locker rooms in general — it is with boys or girls being forced to change in the same locker room as someone of the opposite sex. The locker room is meant to be a safe space. As a girl, I excelled in sports; however, my male peers were still typically stronger than I was. Had I been forced to change in the same room as them, I would have felt vulnerable.”

“Locker room culture is unique,” she explained. “It’s a place of vulnerability — and it’s way more than physical vulnerability.”

“A ‘base layer,’” Szoch argued, “does nothing to change that fact. Instead, it makes maintaining good hygiene and avoiding smelling awful nearly impossible for athletes, and that just gives young girls just one more reason not to play sports. By ignoring the inherent differences between males and females, Hockey Canada initially told young girls, ‘It’s okay for you to come in second, because the playing field isn’t fair.’ Now they’ve simply added, ‘Oh, and while you’re receiving the silver, you’ll smell bad, too, because it’s more important that the boy receiving the gold can feel ‘included’ in a space meant solely for girls.’”

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.