Gary Bettman, the Commissioner of the NHL, has said that he doesn’t believe Winnipeg Jets fans were being “sexist in the slightest” by comparing Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry to pop singer Katy Perry. The Sporting News‘ Jesse Spector asked Bettman whether he feared chants of “Katy Perry” directed at Anaheim Ducks star Corey Perry might be off putting to female fans, whilst noting that fans also taunt Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins with “Princess Crosby.” You can see a video of the “Katy Perry” chants below.
Gary Bettman, without missing a beat, responded that it wasn’t really that sexist, arguing that he didn’t see how anybody could see it as sexist. He also argued that the “Katy Perry” insult was similar to calling a goalie a “sieve.”
“You think that’s sexist? Taunting chants aren’t intended to be sexist.”
Sports Illustrated‘s Sarah Kwak took issue with this comparison, noting that “sieves don’t have feelings”, before bringing up the question at hand.
“You don’t see how taunting a player by calling them a woman could be sexist?”
Whilst arguing that he sees the point of her question, Gary Bettman continued to argue that, regardless of whether or not he sees it as sexist, there was nothing that he, nor anyone else at the NHL, could do about it.
“I see the point but I don’t think it’s overly literal. Short of gagging everyone who comes to a game I’m not sure we can stifle that.”
Fans of Katy Perry, as well as of Corey Perry and the NHL, have taken to Twitter in order to voice their opinions on the matter. Some were of the opinion that the chants weren’t exactly a big deal, while others took the opposite point of view, arguing that the NHL needed to do something, anything, in order to change this.
@hockeydman37 @RegD7 I’m a woman and I don’t think the NHL is sexist. Could it be better? Obviously. But the colour pink and Katy Perry(1/2)
— Ashley March (@MarchHockey) April 27, 2015
— BA (@XBA83) April 26, 2015