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Sports ’ Things

The Penticton Vees have to be hoping that, “third time’s a charm,” is a real thing.

In the Western Canada Cup, the Vees lost in overtime in round robin to the Brooks Bandits in the only game the two clubs played in that competition. In the current Royal Bank Cup, the Vees, who got in as the second western team, lost in overtime in the round robin to the Brooks Bandits – the only points they have dropped in that competition.

Both teams will be in the RBC semi-finals, their positioning to be decided by play Thursday. As things look right now, the two teams will not meet in a semi-final and there is a very strong possibility both will advance to the final.

That would create Vees/Bandits-03. The Vees, who have held leads against the Bandits in both previous encounters, have to believe they can beat the top dogs from Alberta. Believing is not doing, however. There will be no necessity for a motivational speech by the Vees manager if the nation’s junior A final matches Penticton and Brooks again. Of that I am certain.

Bye the Bye, the games have all been streamed for free, and the semi-finals will also be available. Hit the RBC site, schedule and scores, scroll to the the games you are interested in (game times are 11:30 and 4:30 Pacific Time Saturday, still not certain who will play in which game) and click WATCH.

• The Kevin Pillar tempest is serious business, whether you and many of your friends think so or not. Pillar is a result of responsible adults ignoring bigoted language – it happens all the time, here and elsewhere.

The slur he uttered is used all the time in school yards, on playing fields, in rinks and on the street.

It, like other slurs regarding race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or country of origin, is entirely intended to be offensive and demeaning and it is effective in that role. Believe that. Also believe that recipients of that abuse are harmed by it, even if the direct recipients are not actually members of whatever group is being demeaned.

I have friends who use similar slurs, even about themselves, often, always assuming others believe they mean no harm, or little, intergroup harm, by it. “Just joking,” of course.

It becomes tiring to argue the issue, so most of us let things go. We shouldn’t, but we will continue to do just that. The MLB, full of unusual influence on the behaviour of millions, cannot do that. Not in Pillar’s case, not in any case. I fully expect, and we all should demand, at least a wrist slap suspension and perhaps more.

Pillar has comprehensively apologized, as he should have, and there will be further blowback to his earning potential by public companies sensitive to public issues. A tough but necessary consequence, in my mind.

Awareness is all in learning how to treat other people. Be aware.

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