Fairness Delayed, But Finally Fairness
Welcome to 2009, Hockey Hall of Fame.
The prestigious institution may have been a little late to the party, or in this case, rather slow in understanding the explosive growth of women's hockey in North America and Europe.
But the important thing is that they have managed to get there, and by next year women will finally find themselves honored members in the HHOF.
The hall announced changes today that starting in 2010, a maximum of four men and two women will be eligible for annual induction. Until now, women had to compete directly against men, and given the fact many members of the selection committee either had no knowledge of women's hockey or were sworn against allowing women to be recognized in this way, the secretive organization had managed to keep the doors shut tight to women.
It was embarrassing to women and females who had been pioneers in the game.
But it was, as was argued here many times, far more embarrassing to the hall, an old boy's club if there ever was one.
But they've seen the light - finally - and that's fantastic. There will be those who will quibble with the process, suggesting there are women who are every bit as qualified as men and shouldn't need a separate category.
But at this point, that's quibbling indeed.
In fact, the hall has even made sure the numbers of men and women to be inducted every year will be reviewed every five years. Who knows, maybe down the road they'll be allowing the same number of men and women every year.
But for now this is fair. All those who argued it would never, ever happen and should never, ever happen have been proven wrong.
Hockey, it seems, can evolve. Congratulations to the Hockey Hall of Fame.