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This Is Hockey Culture, Ep. 1: Jack Eichel, the NHLPA and bodily autonomy

Who owns athlete’s bodies?

Fans look to receive a souvenir stick from Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres after an NHL game against the San Jose Sharks on October 22, 2019 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

SB Nation and Fear The Fin’s newest hockey podcast, This Is Hockey Culture, has released their first episode! Hosted by Emmy-Award Winning Associate Producer Sam Siciliano and sports journalist Kat Pitre, This Is Hockey Culture breaks down the most pressing news circulating the NHL by examining the intersections of politics, identity, sports and culture in order to define what makes hockey, hockey.

Our first episode is titled: Jack Eichel, the NHLPA and bodily autonomy: Who owns athlete’s bodies? and it’s all about Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel, athlete’s bodily autonomy, and whether the NHLPA should (or can) step in.

We’ll begin the episode by taking you through a complete timeline of the events from Jack Eichel’s injury to today (mid-October), and we’ll be talking about the importance of personal autonomy and self-ownership of athletes over their own bodies. To close out the episode, we’ll go over our last thoughts as to how the concept of bodily autonomy relates to some other current issues in the NHL (vaccine mandates), and some solutions as to how the NHL and NHLPA could proceed in light of the Eichel situation.

After all; It’s his body — shouldn’t he have the final say in how his injury is handled, especially since it’s drastically affecting his ability to work and his quality of life?

You can find the episode in the player below and wherever you typically enjoy your podcasts! Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Next Monday, Oct. 25, we’ll have a brand-new episode for you, all about the untold contributions of Indigenous peoples and athletes on the sport of hockey.