Women Matter: Taking the power away from Patrick Kane

The following is a guest post by Jaclyn Mason for Meet Me Behind the Net. Follow her on Twitter @meetmebhndnet.

The Flyers don't kick things off until tomorrow. But, just because it's hockey, I figured I would watch the Blackhawks raise their sixth Stanley Cup championship banner tonight in Chicago.

But given the events of the off-season, I can't lose the feeling of something else hanging over the United Center: the specter of the ongoing sexual assault investigation against Patrick Kane.

In August, a young woman alleged that Kane raped her in his house after a night spent bar-hopping. You'd think he might want to fly under the radar for a while. 

Unfathomably, Kane's popularity has surged in light of the allegations. The NHL has done nothing to lower his profile — in fact, they announced a Patrick Kane bobblehead night, and trotted him out for an appearance at a Bears game to hoist the Stanley Cup. He received the loudest ovation from the crowd.

The message from this rabid support for Kane is that money and stardom matter. Women, seemingly, do not.

Now get this: Almost half of the Blackhawks fans are women. 

What is happening here? Do women really hate each other this much?  

Forget about Kane's guilt or innocence; it's not for the public to decide. There is power in numbers. Imagine what would happen if 50 percent of Hawks fans decided not to spend money on the team as a show of solidarity with Kane's accuser because alleged crimes against women deserve as much care and consideration as all other alleged crimes of violence.  

The blow would land where it hurts – the bottom line. It would send a strong message to the NHL, professional sports, and the world that women matter.  

If a fraction of the people standing up for Kane on social media stood up for Kane's accuser we might be able to start a powerful conversation about violence against women.

Louis C.K. has tried; Amy Schumer too.  Unfortunately, their jokes are funny because it's true: there is no greater threat to women than men.

Watch Lady Gaga's video about sexual assault here (warning, it's graphic).  Then think about this: what if Kane's accuser was your wife, girlfriend, sister or daughter? If you're a woman, what if it was you? Would you still leap to your feet and give him a standing ovation just because he's good at sports?

Tonight it is difficult to reconcile being a hockey fan with being a woman. I think I'll skip the banner raising ceremony after all. 

Jaclyn Mason is a guest columnist for Flyerdelphia. Follow her on Twitter @meetmebhndnet.