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Changing On The Fly

Changing On The Fly

By Changing On The Fly
Changing On The Fly dives deep into social justice issues in hockey, looking at themes such as colonialism, sexism, and racism on the ice. The podcast aims to bring together interviews with athletes, sports scholars, and hockey commentators whose work aims to create radical social change, both inside and outside the arena.
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Drop Pucks, Not Bombs with Anti-Flag

Changing On The Fly

Hockey Has a Reckoning Moment
The hockey world, especially at the NHL level, has been extremely quiet on racial justice issues for too many years - until now. The Black-led uprising for Black Lives Matter following the police murder of George Floyd in May 2020 finally prompted an outpouring of statements from the NHL and several high profile players. We have never seen anything like this in professional hockey before. To help us make sense of the moment, we hear from two of the finest journalists reporting on sports and social movements. First, we caught up with Hemal Jhaveri, a columnist for USA Today's For The Win, and a frequent commentator on race issues in hockey. Then we hear from Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation magazine and host of the Edge of Sports podcast. We asked both our guests what hockey players and the NHL have gotten right, what they haven't gotten wrong, and why we're seeing this unprecedented support for #BlackLivesMatter in hockey now.
June 24, 2020
Matt Hern and the Creative Beauty of Hockey
Happy new year! This is our first episode of 2020, and it's nice to have you with us for a new decade of hockey and resistance :) Our esteemed guest on the show today is Matt Hern. Matt lives in Vancouver, where he’s an activist, scholar, and writer. While he writes on a variety of fascinating topics ranging from free schools to global warming to parenting, he’s one of the most exciting and engaged radical sports philosophers that I know. Matt put out a book back in 2013 called “One Game at a Time: Why Sports Matter” that I would highly recommend to everyone who loves this podcast. In this interview, we talk about masculinities, risk, and the beautiful creativity of hockey. Enjoy! **If you like this podcast, then support us!
January 16, 2020
Hockey Has a Racism Problem, Courtney Szto is Trying to Fix It
We are at a watershed moment in hockey history right now. Many of us know that hockey has had a racism problem for a long time, but now the conversations are coming to the surface in ways that they never have before. And Courtney Szto is one of the most important people driving those conversations. She's our guest on this episode of Changing on the Fly, and we got to talk about everything from Hockey Night in Punjabi to the changing face of hockey today. Follow Courtney Szto on Twitter Like this podcast? Then support us on Patreon!
December 16, 2019
It's official. Don Cherry, the long time host of Hockey Night in Canada, has been fired. FINALLY. It comes after his most recent racist tirade (far from his first) on live TV against immigrants in Canada. We break down Don Cherry and his penchant for biggotry with Kristi Allain. Kristi teaches in the department of sociology at St-Thomas University in Fredericton, NB, and has penned several articles and studies on Cherry's hate-spewing rhetoric. Find her on Twitter @Kristi_Allain. Plus we hear some of the words of sports commentator Shireen Ahmed via a beautiful piece she wrote for the Globe and Mail. If you like this podcast, then support us! Music on this podcast by Steam, Talib Kweli, A Tribe Called Quest, and Propagandhi. Our theme music is by Tshizimba.
November 11, 2019
Decolonization, Reconciliation & Hockey w/ Chief Wilton Littlechild
Wilton Littlechild is a Cree chief from Maskwacis, Alberta. He is a lawyer, a former hockey player, a residential school survivor, and more recently he was one of the commissioners of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He joins us as a special guest on this episode of Changing On The Fly to talk about his own life story, how we can use hockey to promote nation to nation dialogue and understanding, and how we can move towards decolonizing sport, particularly through the Calls to Action of the commission. Later in the show, we also break down the St-Louis Blues' pitiful visit to the White House, and how hockey players are allowing themselves to be foolish pawns in Trump's desperate efforts to normalize his presidency. ** Like this podcast? Then support us! Music on this episode by: A Tribe Called Red, The Tragically Hip, KRS-One, The Sugarman 3 & Talib Kweli. Our theme music is by the one and only Tshizimba.
October 25, 2019
The State of Women's Hockey w/ Erica Ayala
Welcome back to Season 2 of Changing on the Fly! Our guest on this episode is Erica Ayala. Erica is an NWHL analyst, broadcaster, and an expert on women’s hockey. We talk here about the women’s hockey strike in Sweden, the Dream Gap tour in women’s hockey in North America, and so much more. Follow Erica on Twitter @elindsay08 If you like this podcast, then support us! Read Hemal Jhaveri's article about Auston Matthews here.
September 30, 2019
Fred Sasakamoose: An Indigenous Hockey Trailblazer
This is our last episode of Changing On The Fly for season 1! We'll be back with season 2 in the fall.  So as we head out for the summer, we leave you with this very special episode. Fred Sasakamoose is a Cree elder from the Ahtahkakoop Cree reservation in central Saskatchewan. He famously became one of the first Indigenous people to ever play in the NHL, putting on a Chicago Blackhawks jersey and playing 11 games for the team in the 1953 season. But the road to there was paved with trauma, tragedy, and resilience. Fred, like so many other Indigenous people of his generation, is a survivor of Canada's Residential School system. He learned to play hockey at St-Michael's Indian Residential School, but also suffered great abuse there. Still, he kept up with his passion, and went on to make it to the highest level for a hockey player. Fred was awarded the Order of Canada in Ottawa in May 2018, and I got to sit down with him after the ceremony so that he could share his beautiful story with all of us. And here it is. This story was originally produced and aired on NPR's Only A Game in September 2018. ** If you like this podcast, then support us on Patreon!
June 15, 2019
Pucks, Punks, and Politics w/ Propagandhi
On today’s episode, we’re finally bringing you part 2 of a 2 part series called Pucks, Punks, and Politics - conversations with punk rockers on hockey, radical politics, and the art of getting loud. Our first part of this series was with Chris 2 from Anti-Flag, and if you missed that you can go back and listen to Episode 10. Today’s episode is with Jord Samolesky, the drummer of the seminal Winnipeg punk band Propagandhi. Aside from being a very busy touring musician for the last few decades, Jord is also a dedicated human-rights activist in his home town, and joined me for a discussion to talk about Propagandhi’s latest album, how to stave off impending climate doom, and why he just can’t cheer for the Winnipeg Jets. **If you like this podcast, then support us! Visit our Patreon page, and donate even as little as $1/month: We also discuss developments in the ongoing saga that is women's professional hockey in North America, including the very powerful #ForTheGame statement of boycott. Thanks for listening!
May 28, 2019
From #OneLeague to #NoLeague: The Future of Women's Pro Hockey in Canada
On episode 11 of Changing On The Fly, we tackle the devastating news that the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) is shutting down its operations after 12 seasons. The announcement from the league came just one week after the Clarkson Cup championship match, and the day before many players from the league were set to fly overseas to Finland for the women's world hockey championships. Bad timing to say the least. We break down and analyze what this all means with two of the most passionate voices in women's hockey media.  Shireen Ahmed is a writer, public speaker, and co-host of the feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down. Erica Ayala is a New York-based child advocate, sportswriter and  analyst covering the National Women’s Hockey League. ***If you enjoy this podcast, then support us! Hit us up on our Patreon page for even as little as $1/month!  Also, be sure to check out the fantastic episode that The Last Stretch Podcast did also on the closing of the CWHL. Get it here, or through the Upford Network!
April 16, 2019
Drop Pucks, Not Bombs with Anti-Flag
Chris Barker (aka Chris #2) from the long-standing Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag joins us on this episode to talk hockey, punk, and politics! Chris is a busy guy, and is often found playing bass and singing for Anti-Flag, recording album after album, and touring the world playing to hundreds of thousands of fans. But while he's not on stage, he looks for every opportunity he can get to play or watch hockey. Chris came on the podcast to talk about his working-class Steel City, the anti-fascist & anti-war politics of Anti-Flag, and why hockey AND punk rock mean the world to him. He's a Penguins fan, I'm a Habs fan, but we set aside our differences in the name of our mutual love: PUCK ROCK! **If you like this podcast, then support us! Visit our Patreon page, and donate even as little as $1/month: In the later part of the podcast, we also discuss the first ever NHL broadcast in Cree, the Round Table on Racism in Hockey in Kingston, and the devastating news of the CWHL closing down.
April 01, 2019
Hockey Riot in Canada
A History of Le Smashy-Smash There have been at least 8 recorded hockey riots in Canadian history. While often dismissed as simply drunken hooliganism, these events actually reveal important social & class tensions, and we can learn a lot from them. On today's episode of Changing on the Fly, we walk you through a brief history of hockey riots, starting with the Maurice Richard Riot in Montreal on March 17, 1955, and ending with the most recent, the Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot of June, 2011. Our guests on the program today are Dr. Jenny Ellison, Curator of Sports and Leisure with the Canadian Museum of History, and co-editor of the anthology "Hockey: Challenging Canada's National Game", as well as Franklin Lopez, independent journalist and founder of the anarchist video collective Submedia. If you like this podcast, then support us! You can chip in as little as $1/month at Music on this episode is by Rancid, Delhi Sultanate, The United Steelworkers of Montreal, and our theme music is by Tshizimba!
March 18, 2019
Arenas on Stolen Land - Edmonton's Rogers Place & Gentrification
Today on the podcast, we go to Alberta. The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are sworn enemies on the ice, their rivalry known as the 'Battle of Alberta'. And off the ice, the way these cities approach their hockey infrastructure couldn't be any more different. Calgary residents recently voted in a referendum to refuse the city's bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, and the city is also adamantly refusing to pour public money into building a new arena for the Flames. Meanwhile 3 hours up the road in Edmonton, the Oilers moved into their shiny new digs at Roger's Place in 2016, at a cost of $313 million to local taxpayers. And to top it off, the new arena is contributing to the forced displacement of an urban Indigenous community just down the street. On today's episode, we're joined by Rylan Kafara and Jay Scherer from the University of Alberta, who have both been studying the impacts of Roger's Place on their city. Rylan gives us a tour of the surrounding area, and they both break it all down for us. ***Like this podcast? Then support us on Patreon! **Come see us live in Kingston, Ontario on March 30th for the Rountable on Racism in Hockey!
March 04, 2019
Making Hockey History w/ Jessica Platt
On this episode of the podcast, we bring you an exclusive and candid conversation with Jessica Platt of the Toronto Furies! On January 10, 2018, Jessica made history when she came out as the first trans pro hockey player in Canada. And she did so in a beautiful message posted to Instagram, encouraging other young trans athletes to be their true selves, and follow their dreams. In our interview, Jessica tells us her story about growing up, falling in love with hockey, her struggles that forced her to leave the game, and then coming back to the very top.  If you like Changing On The Fly, then support us on Patreon! Our Patreon page is Every little bit helps. Our theme music is by Tshizimba! Changing On The Fly is a proud member of the Upford Network of podcasts
January 30, 2019
Episode 6 - McGill Redmen: Change The Name
On this episode of Changing On The Fly, we kick it with Tomas Jirousek, an Indigenous student athlete at McGill University in Montreal. He's a rower & former hockey player hailing from the Kainai First Nation in Alberta, and he's been leading the charge to get McGill to change their racist varsity team name - The Redmen. The McGill admin is poised to make their final decision on the matter in January, so shit is about to get historic. Then we take you to a recent demonstration held at McGill on this issue. We'll hear from Nakuset of the Montreal Native Women's Shelter, and Denzel Sutherland-Wilson, another Indigenous athlete at McGill (from the Gitxan nation). We also talk about the RCMP attack against the Unist'ot'en Camp on Wet'suwet'en territory in northern BC. For more updates and info on that, check out  Want to sign the petition to change the Redmen name? Check out Want to support this podcast? Check out our Patreon page! Changing On The Fly is a proud member of the Upford Network. Find your new favorite podcast at!
January 10, 2019
Episode 5 - Toxic Masculinity, Homophobia and The Prime-Minister of Saturday Night
On this episode of Changing on the Fly, we take on the double-headed beast of toxic masculinity and homophobia in hockey. We start by looking at the greatest and oldest fountain of toxic masculinity in hockey broadcasting, Don Cherry of Coach's Corner. But then, to look at something uplifting and inspiring, we'll hear about one of the most widespread activist movements to combat homophobia in sports, the You Can Play project. Our guests on today's show are: -Dr. Kristi Allain, professor of sociology at St-Thomas University in New Brunswick -Dr. Cheryl Macdonald, co-chair of the western Canadian board of the You Can Play Project **Like this podcast? Then support us! For more info on Changing on the Fly, or to subscribe to the podcast, visit: Music on this episode is by Tshizimba, DJ Spooky, Kaytranada, and Ilegot. Changing on the Fly is produced by Aaron Lakoff
December 03, 2018
Episode 4 - Power Play: How Feminism is Changing Hockey
Changing On The Fly is going live! On this episode, we'll hear a round-table discussion called "Power Play: How Women Can Change Sports Journalism and Hockey". The event was recorded in the Feminist Media Studio of Concordia University on January 31st, 2018. The guests are: -Meg Hewings, General Manager of Les Canadiennes -Robyn Flynn, sports reporter for TSN 690 and The Athletic -Safia Ahmad, former sports reporter for The Link, and current Media Relations Manager for Les Canadiennes **Like this podcast? Then support us on Patreon! For more info on Changing on the Fly, or to subscribe to the podcast, visit: Music on this episode is by Tshizimba, DJ Spooky, and Ilegot. -Globe and Mail: "How the Maple Leafs can get on the right side of #MeToo" -Le Devoir: "Le genre en jeu au hockey sur glace à Pyeongchang" Changing on the Fly is produced by Aaron Lakoff
November 12, 2018
Episode 3 - Gritty: The Anti-Fascist Hockey Hero
How did Gritty, the new mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers, become the new mascot for the American anti-fascist movement? Gritty is a huge, ugly, scary orange monster, who comes to us at a time when there is an equally huge, ugly, scary orange monster in the White House. We're joined on this episode by Mark Bray, history professor & the author of "Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook" to talk about Gritty, hockey, and what the antifa movement actually is. Since we're talking about Pennsylvania and fascism, we also reflect on the recent tragic synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and pay our respects to the victims. May their memories be for a blessing. **Like this podcast? Then support us! For more anti-fascist news & information, check out these links: We're on the Upford Network! Check them out at Music on this episode by: Tshizimba, Hi-Tek, Max Pashm, Black Ox, Orkestar, Billy Bragg and Wilco
October 31, 2018
Episode 2 - Race & Racism in Hockey
If you look at the face of hockey, it's about as white as the ice the game is played on. But if you start to scratch the surface, you start to notice that not only is the game much more diverse than you think, but also that people of color have a long and celebrated history in the sport. Yet still, racism and racial discrimination run rampant throughout the sport today. On this episode of Changing on the Fly, we take on the topics of race and racism in hockey. We'll hear about the amazing history of the Coloured Hockey Leauge in Nova Scotia in the late 1800s, how racism manifests itself on the ice, but also about how some players are standing up with a fist in the air. Our guests on the show today are: -Damon Kwame Mason, director of the documentary Soul on Ice -Shireen Ahmed, sports writer and co-host of the sports and feminism podcast Burn It All Down: Check out Shireen's blog Tales From a Hijabi Footballer: And Shireen's piece for Vice Sports on the Penguins' White House visit: For more information on Changing on the Fly, or to subscribe to the podcast: Music in this episode is by Tshizimba, DJ Spooky, Sixties, and Ilegot. Changing on the Fly is produced by Aaron Lakoff We are a proud member of the Upford Network! Check out all their shows at
October 17, 2018
Episode 1: This Game We Love, On Stolen Land
Welcome to the very first episode of Changing on the Fly, a podcast about hockey and social justice! On this episode, we lace up the skates and hit the ice to talk about colonialism in hockey, and the Indigenous hockey experience. What does it mean to call hockey "Canada's game" while Canada is a country built on stolen Native land? We're gonna take a deep dive into hockey's role in Canada's residential schools, the presence of Native mascots in sports, and the changing role of Indigenous hockey players in the NHL today. To help us pick apart these huge questions, we hear from Braden Te Hiwi, Justin Louis, and Jason Brennan. Like this podcast? Then support us! Paypal donations:
October 03, 2018
Podcast Preview
The new podcast series Changing On The Fly hits the ice October 3, 2018! Here's just a small taste of what you'll hear :) **Want to support this podcast and get some great perks in return? We've got a Patreon page: **Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or follow us here on Soundcloud! Featuring the voices of Damon Kwame Mason, Shireen Ahmed, Don Cherry (barf), Kristi Allain, and Robyn Flynn. Music by The Kendallz. Artwork by Loki Design. Facebook @ChangingOnTheFly Twitter @OnChanging
September 18, 2018