Hypermasculinity Norms: NBA vs NHL

Kevin Durant got a hefty $25,000 fine on October 29 after throwing a ball into the crowd from frustration after being fouled (see Tweet below). During an NHL game, a player who intentionally shoots the puck out of bounds, whether in an act of frustration or to stop a play, one only gets a two-minute minor game penalty. What can be qualified as outburst of hypermasculinity and who decides which can be forgiven in the NBA and NHL? 

Throwing a basketball or shooting a puck into the crowd, intentionally or not, can be extremely harmful to the fans sitting in the stands just trying to enjoy a game of basketball or hockey. Hockey and basketball are aggressive and physical sports yet, in the NBA, acts of aggression can cost you upwards of hundreds or thousands of dollars while in the NHL you can be let off with a two-minute minor penalty.  

One explanation may be that the NHL has displayed systemic hypermasculinity since the early 1900’s during the first World War. The Wat effort recruited hockey players because of the loyalty and physicality exhibited in the game. Therefore, acts of hypermasculinity, aggression and intentional physicality, such as fighting, have been involved in the game of hockey since the early 1900’s. The hypermasculinity norms in the NBA and NHL are historically different because of the early perceptions of masculinity and sport.  

Cassie MacInnis 

  

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