Another aspect of toxic masculinity is that men can never be a victim. Now, the NHL is no stranger to domestic violence issues. Semyon Varmalov, the goaltender of Colorado Avalanche, was arrested in October 2013 for kidnapping and assault of his girlfriend. He was back on the ice 48 hours later though. The charge was eventually dropped by a judge as prosecutors were unable to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. In another case, Slava Voynov was arrested on domestic violence charges and suspended by the league. Most people would probably agree that beating up your wife is a pretty terrible thing to do, but the LA Kings still allowed Voynov to attend practice – landing them with a fine of $100,000, which is pocket change really to a franchise worth $550 million. Oh, and Voynov did receive his full salary for the season despite the suspension. He was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years probation.
Last month, the girlfriend of Habs player, Alex Galchenyuk, was arrested on a domestic violence charge. It has been reported that Galchenyuk threw a party, teammate Devante Smith-Pelly was present, and when his girlfriend, Chanel Leszczynski arrived there was an altercation resulting in the police being called. Galchenyuk was left with a bloody nose, but declined to press charges. However, given that it was a domestic violence case, police are required to forward the information to the prosecutor’s office. The Montreal Canadiens started the season blazing hot, but things have cooled down since then, especially after losing Carey Price to injury. When knowledge of the assault hit the press, 21 year old Galchenyuk was required to make a statement to the media.
Congratulations, you made the victim of domestic abuse apologise for the incident as though it was his fault. Incredibly, coach Michel Therrien had this to say on the matter “You never want this type of distraction, you never want to hear stuff like this. He’s young, he’ll learn.” He’ll learn. Learn what? That when you’re assaulted you become the scapegoat for the team’s bad form? That he distracted the team because his girlfriend attacked him? Absolutely ridiculous. It reinforces the idea that men can never be victims. He’s a hockey player – he makes his living by hitting people on the ice and he couldn’t control a girl? The league has had many opportunities to show its support for victims of domestic violence of both genders, but had failed miserably each time.