I’m sorry for my language, but there’s a few jerks that are tarnishing the reputation of our organization and our city. That has no place. If you want to be apart of the red mile, you are a Calgary Flame. We need all kinds of fans. We need babies, we need ladies, we need men, we need all kinds of fans. - Bob Hartley
CALGARY, AB -- There’s plenty of fun to be had on the ‘Red Mile’. For everyone.
And the Calgary Flames would like to keep it that way.
The Flames are strongly supporting those that take to 17th Ave to support the home side, but don’t condone those using Calgary’s run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as an excuse to partake in illegal and offensive actions amidst reports of sexual harassment and intimidation of women during the festivities.
“It’s not negative behaviour. It’s stupid,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said Friday. “I’m sorry for my language, but there’s a few jerks that are tarnishing the reputation of our organization and our city. That has no place.
“If you want to be apart of the red mile, you are a Calgary Flame. We need all kinds of fans. We need babies, we need ladies, we need men, we need all kinds of fans.
“Those are our fans, those are our people. That’s plain stupid. That they use our players name on top of it, I just can’t believe it. We’re better than that. At the same time, I’m sure it’s just a small group. I’d like someone to kick their…for me.”
Hartley isn’t the only one who feels the ‘Red Mile’ needs to better encompass all.
“Everyone here is about the negative stuff there but I think it's about the passion in this city about hockey,” Sean Monahan said. “Some people got to have a little more respect in that case but I think these fans are excited and they're trying to have fun but I think at the end of the day you've got to respect people and be the right person and do the right things.”
A few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch.
And though it was long before he joined the organization, Hartley knows the positive side that the ‘C of Red’ can bring to the Flames and fans alike.
“I came here three years ago and that’s the first thing I talked to Craig Conroy and Martin Gelinas about,” Hartley said. “I remember in 2004 watching it on the news. I had a friend at Reebok at that time telling me that every factory that they had around the world, they were only manufacturing one jersey. The ‘Flaming C’. They were selling like hot cakes.
“Right now we feel the same. You go to shopping malls, restaurants, you go get gas. You need to sprint to the nozzle because fans want to pump your gas for you. That’s how crazy it is right now, but it’s fun. I think that we are a big part of the culture here in the city.
“This community has lots of grit, lots of character, and I think we look like them and they look like us. That’s why we’re one. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a Calgary Flame. I honestly hope that this is my last stop. I hope that I retire as a Calgary Flame.”