While other sports may be criticized as being too religious, the NHL has a climate that mocks the faithful. Boston Bruins’ Adam McQuaid hopes to change that.
Religion is often a prickly topic of conversation in the NHL. It isn’t like other sports where the players proudly showcase their faith in the form of crosses around their neck, or tattoos on their arms. Instead of building camaraderie and respect among teammates, being that forthcoming with spirituality in the NHL world, is more likely to get result in chastising and teasing. This hostile atmosphere toward religion forces many players to keep their faith under cover. However, religion is not without its champions in the NHL, and Adam McQuaid is leading that charge.
Adam McQuaid: NHL’s Champion of Faith
Canadian Adam McQuaid, who plays for the Boston Bruins, is the latest NHL star to stand proud of his religious beliefs regardless of the opinion of others in the profession. McQuaid has decided to hide his faith no more, “I’ve kind of come to a point where if someone’s going to ask me, I’m going to be honest.”
Many thanks to Adam McQuaid for trusting me with his story about faith, which sent me off on a months-long quest: http://t.co/HSNxcW27t7
— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) April 5, 2015
Mike Fisher from the Nashville Predators, is another one of the game’s most open practitioners of his religion and goes as far to say that “[religion is] kind of a little bit against the hockey culture”. With such a high profile name regarding the mixing of hockey and religion as taboo, there would seem no chance for its integration and wide spread acceptance.
In other professional sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, and MLB, almost all teams have an affiliation to a chapel and many use them to hold small ceremonies before games. Conversely, only 23 of the 30 NHL teams have chapels for their players and personnel. Management will not actively promote religious gatherings, and, often times, it is the players that will organize such meetings themselves.
The Boston Bruins are one of those clubs who do not currently sponsor a chapel. There was talk between McQuaid and former teammate Jarome Iginla approaching management regarding establishing a chapel service for the Bruins last season. However, the conversation never resulted in any action with the team’s management.
In the meantime, Adam McQuaid is proudly flying his own religious flag in the hopes of changing mainstream perception and encouraging others to join him.