Learning French would show respect

Bonjour. I’m writing concerning what was irritating Mike Brophy (and the general English-Canadian Media) in the second (awesomely presented) issue of THN about Saku Koivu not speaking French after 13 years in Montreal.

I don’t want to get in to the language debate, but being the face of a team that is watched religiously every game would show respect and interest towards French Canada.

What if Mario Lemieux never bothered to learn English? Would the people in Pittsburgh say nothing or be offside, boring and clichéd by complaining?

I remember Mike and others saying during the lockout how they wished the players would be more accessible to them and the fans. Well that is exactly what the French Habs fans are asking now.

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Koivu’s leadership and character are not the question. At leased 90% of the Habs fans are French speaking and Saku would relate more easily to the demographic if he spoke the language.

Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson learned French when they came to Montreal, while Sidney Crosby and Brad Richards learned French when they were in Rimouski.

Mike and the rest of the English media are very intelligent and insightful, but still don’t understand the “language thing.” Mike should give a call to Mr. Red Fisher; an explanation from him (being English-Canadian himself) might influence Mike to understand.

Mr. Fisher is clearly the only English-Canadian journalist who gets it.   

Alain Biron, La Baie, Que.