Controversy at the Christmas Classic

  • Dec. 21, 2012 6:00 p.m.

There’s controversy at the annual Christmas Classic basketball tournament this year, after the Skidegate Saints signed a letter saying they won’t play because of the ocean fertilization/dumping project that Old Massett undertook last summer. “We are writing to regretfully inform you that the Skidegate Saints basketball teams (Seniors, Intermediates, Juniors, Woman) will not be partcipating in the 2012 Christmas Classics tournament,” the letter dated December 19 said. “As a collective, we are taking this opportunity to express our displeasure with the Old Massett Village Council’s handling of the Haida Salmon Restoration orporation’s Ocean Iron Fertilization project.” The letter, signed by twenty members of the Saints including Duane Alsop, Taylor Moody and Josh Wesley, goes on to say the project has “shed negative light on us all as Haida people” and asks for a formal apology and confirmation the project has been stopped. However, organizers for the tournament say it will go ahead without the Saints. “The Committee for the Massett Classic Basketball Tournament (The Classic) has received a letter from the Skidegate Saints stating that they are boycotting the basketball tournament.While deeply saddened and disappointed that they choose to use our tournament to make a political statement, the tournament will go forward as usual. The Saints letter does not exclude other teams from entering into the tournament and Skidegate teams are always welcome to enter the Classic.The committee is comprised of community members, volunteering their time and will not engage in politics as the Classic is family sporting event,” a statement from the Masset Classics Committee said.