To state the obvious: Learning a second language is difficult.
But don’t tell that to Tyler Seguin.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan recently published a lengthy piece about how NHL players navigate the difficult language barriers that sometimes exist in locker rooms. There were a number of fascinating comments made by the players interviewed for the story — then there was Seguin’s.
Here’s what the Dallas Stars center had to say:
“Guys always talk in different languages,” Seguin told Kaplan. “Sometimes you just put your foot down. We’re in North America, we’re not going to have a team of cliques.”
Where to begin?
First of all, when he was a member of the Boston Bruins in 2012, Seguin played in Switzerland during the NHL lockout. Did he take it upon himself to learn any of the country’s four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh)? We’re not sure, but it’s probably safe to say he didn’t.
Also, Seguin is from Canada, where there are over seven million people speak French as their first language. Furthermore, there are many people in North America who don’t speak English as a first language — a fact that Seguin either doesn’t know or chooses to ignore completely.
But most importantly, it’s no one’s right to tell another person what language to speak — period.
And we’ll let the stupidity of the “just put your foot down” comment speak for itself.
Listen, can language barriers be frustrating? Absolutely. Especially when you’re trying compete at the highest level when the people around you are speaking an entirely different language.
But cultural diversity is part of what makes professional sports leagues such as the NHL so great. And if Seguin has a problem with that, then he might be the real problem.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images