The outside of the mask was decorated with the words “boys will be boys, power, kings.” The inside read “pain, suicidal, need love.”
Another mask read “smart, focused, money” on the exterior, and “angry, unsure, bi” on the interior.
The masks, created by university hockey players — some who played major junior — were a research project presented Friday at Hockey Canada’s Beyond The Boards Summit.
The masks, which were distributed among the tables in the conference room for examination, were intended to demonstrate what toxic masculinity does to men in the game.
“Those are conversations men aren’t able to have,” said researcher Teresa Fowler, an assistant professor at Concordia University of Edmonton.
The closed door of the hockey locker room and the pressure to conform to the behaviour in it, as well as violence equated with toughness were among the themes kicking off the summit that concludes Saturday.
“The men in our study were told (they) have to do things against (their) constitution,” Fowler said. “One of the players knew he would have to fight, so he couldn’t sleep and was drinking on the plane and doing whatever he needed to do to cope.”