Habs player Georges Laraque under fire for ad
Published Tuesday, October 13, 2009 7:36PM EDT
Canadiens enforcer Georges Laraque is coming under fire for an online advertisement that features scantily-clad women.
Laraque is a spokesman for an alcoholic energy drink called Octane 7.0, and in the commercial he's featured playing street hockey with a group of flirtatious females.
Groups that fight for women's rights are upset with the ad, saying that it's degrading, that it stereotypes women, and that it portrays women as objects to be conquered.
"It's a frontal attack to equality between men and women, and we're also quite worried because the health impact of portraying women solely as sexual objects are tremendous," said Lydya Assaya of the Quebec Action Network for Women's Health.
Alexa Conradi, of the Quebec Women's Federation, said the ad is damaging to both sexes.
"While women suffer from these images, men are stereotyped in a way as well. I think men are far more intelligent than that," said Conradi.
Out on the streets, Montrealers offered mixed reactions to Laraque's decision to be a part of the sexually-charged ad.
"I think it's not the right thing. It gives a poor image to our young people," one man told CTV Montreal's Herb Luft.
One woman said the there was no need for a controversy over the ad.
"Yes, there's sexy women in it but it's not that bad," she said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Laraque spoke to reporters and apologized to those he offended.
"I'm totally sorry because it wasn't my intent," said Laraque. "I would gladly support and endorse a couple of those groups if they need any help in future."
Laraque, an animal rights activist who often volunteers with various organizations when he's not playing hockey, said he is devoted to the community.
On Wednesday, he will be participating in a fundraiser for a low-cost veterinary clinic that will serve St. Henri and Pointe St. Charles.
"I want people to remember me for how I am in the community -- not for the people that I beat up," said the hockey tough guy.
View the ad by clicking here.