When a fan goes to a game, the pregame ceremonies usually include announcing starting lineups, hearing your country’s national anthem, and soaking in the excitement exuding from thousands of fans packed into one arena. But if you go see the Toronto Maple Leafs or Toronto Raptors play a home game this year, you’ll get your daily dose of virtue signaling as well.
The pregame ceremonies of Scotiabank Arena in Toronto will include a “land acknowledgment,” which basically means that they will announce to the crowd that the land on which the stadium was built was once owned by indigenous people.
Many people claim that this helps with the “reconciliation process” between the indigenous and the current citizens of Canada.
Or at least, that’s what those who choose to ignore reality believe. In the adult world where mature people actually use their critical thinking skills to interpret history and observe the world, we realize that it’s the most pointless gesture ever.
Common belief is that any nation currently in power must feel guilty about its existence since it has conquered multiple groups of people before them. The latter is correct, but it’s not true that nations must feel ashamed of their conquests.
For thousands of year, empires expanded by conquering others nations. This was up until the early 19th century. Nation went to war against nation, with the winner taking their captives’ land for themselves. The war was violent, bloody and brutal but that was how things worked.
It is likely that many people claimed this land prior to the Canadian Indians. They came when it was time to grow, they saw and conquered.
But for some reason, the NHL and NBA feel like doing this “land acknowledgment” will somehow make indigenous people feel better and paint themselves as noble advocates for justice. Both conquerors, and conquered, are guilty in the end of doing immense wrongs towards each other. History will prove this.
But land acknowledgments don’t make up for all the conflict or unsettled wrongs. The past must be let alone. We can certainly learn from it so we don’t make the same mistakes again, but we don’t need to try to settle conflicts and wrongdoings from hundreds of years ago.
And we don’t need to ruin the experience of sports games in the process.