The NHL 15 trailer released on Monday showed off the incredible graphics and amazing amounts of arena detail poured in to this year’s edition of the game—and ended with a subtle dig at the NHL’s female fans.
The mock Instagrams all portrayed females selfie-ing at a game, and captions include a “#MCM” (Man Crush Monday), “Still don’t understand offsides,” and the classic, “Kings Game with ma gurrllzzz!!”
While Instagrams in general aren’t exactly known for their intellectual fortitude, is it really necessary for a league with pretty well documented issues marketing to and attracting female fans to tack on this bizarre and condescending image at the end of an advertisement for the sport’s marquee video game?
Maybe I’m looking too deeply into this—and full disclosure, I think the game looks pretty awesome—but it’s kind of absurd that NHL 15 took steps to mock female hockey fans as part of the “real-life” arena experience in the game. I’m willing to wager that most female fans go to games because they actually enjoy the sport, not because their “man crush” is on the ice. It’s also upsetting to see how EA Sports embraced the “dumb puck bunny” stereotype with the “Still don’t understand offsides” caption. Again, this is portrayed in the ad as a realistic arena experience. Offsides isn’t that difficult of a concept.
If EA Sports and the NHL thinks that their female fans have no clue what’s happening at a game, or are just there for a cool selfie or a glimpse at a celebrity crush, there’s no question why more women aren’t becoming hockey fans.
While I’m not overly torn up by this, I’m mostly just disappointed that the images were approved to be included in the trailer for the game. They’re not funny—they’re just sexist and dumb. EA Sports and the NHL can certainly do better than this.