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The NHL has an opportunity to tell South Korea they will not be sending any of their NHL stars to the 2018 Olympics in protest to their Dog Meat trade.
There are many arguments for and against the National Hockey League (NHL) participating in the 2018 Winter Games to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, chief among them according to the NHL, is shutting down the league for two weeks.
Gary Bettman President of the NHL argues that allowing NHL players to play in the Olympics hurts league revenues and branding, since the league is forced to shut down for much of February.
February is prime time for NHL teams, since major competing sports like football and baseball are not on. The league argues that it loses valuable time to gain new fans, and that shutting down for two weeks loses them revenues.
While it could be debated if Bettman's theory is correct, there is no denying that the exposure the NHL has gotten, sending and risking their best players to the past five Olympics has not transcended into bringing in new fans or higher television viewer ratings.
But for all of Bettman's arguments he failed to mention the 'Moral Argument' for not going to South Korea. This one reasoning alone should be enough to persuade players from ever setting foot in South Korea, much less playing a hockey game there.
Pyeongchang organizers consider securing the participation of NHL players to be of critical importance, as ice hockey is one of the most popular sports of the Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) negotiations with the NHL over having the league's players competing in Pyeongchang have stalled over the IOC's decision not to pay for NHL players' travel and insurance as it had in the past.
South Korea and the IOC will eventually cave to the NHL player demands because these backward thinkers are so desperate to show the world how far they have come both socially and technologically that they are all too willing to give anything to secure that the superstars of the NHL will be playing.
Except for disasters and war, countries like South Korea rarely, if ever have the opportunity to have the world stage all to themselves and they'll use this small window of time to promote their country to world businesses and if need be, dispel any preconceived notions they believe some westerners may have of them.
It is ironic that these countries, so eager to distance themselves from their past but, the moment a reporter asks "Why are you torturing dogs and eating them"? They almost amusingly use "It's Tradition" as their excuse to justify their morally bankrupt society.
South Korea needs these games to change World opinion and to make the case that South Korea deserves to be equally treated and respected like France, The United Kingdom or The United States.
PyeongChang knows that without these NHL superstars, many fans worldwide, who normally watch the Olympics simply to see their favorite players from their favorite team play against each other, will not bother watching.
That is why the NHL has this rare opportunity to actually make a real difference in the world.
This is why the NHL should take a stand and demand South Korea abandon it's draconian dog eating ways. If the NHL made such a demand they would lose nothing if South Korea calls them out on their threat. I have known for sometime owners and the NHL leadership loath their superstars playing in the Olympic. Owners who have invested millions fear an injury could result in missed playing time or even career ending to the teams once in a generation player.
Success or failure the NHL will still stand to gain millions of pet owners gratitude for their attempt. Most of whom will tune, for a few games at least as their way of saying 'thank you'
These appreciative animal lovers, some of whom may have never seen a hockey game in their lives, may actually enjoy watching so much that some could become life long followers.
I am sure there are many NHL players who are also Dog and Cat lovers and would be sickened if they actually knew what South Korea was doing to these poor animals.
Just last week we did a story about players from the NHL New York Islanders visiting an adoption shelter and these rough and tough hockey players just melted holding a few of these poor animals in search of forever homes.
I would have loved to asked John Tavares (Pictured below) one of the NHL's best players and one who without a doubt would be playing for team Canada in PyeongChang "Would you go to a country like South Korea who still clubs, boils alive and electrocutes the same animal you are holding because they believe it makes them taste better?
One day these NHL greatest will have to explain to their children, their reason for playing in the 2018 Olympics hosted by a country that slaughters dogs and cats in ways that would make any horror film lover cringe.
For those players that have children, some may even bring their families to PyeongChang in 2018. I would love to film their reaction if their 7-year-old unsuspecting child asked to try a South Korean favorite called Gaejang-guk, a spicy soup made with of course Dog Meat.