I Dteanna A Chéile / Nyawenha
September 7, 2020 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Lacrosse Ireland have surrendered their slot in The World Games 2022 men’s lacrosse tournament with the explicit intention of clearing a path for the Iroquois Nationals (representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy) to participate at The World Games in the sport their ancestors were the first to play.

According to the IN’s “Lacrosse Timeline”:
In the beginning…the Iroquois Indians believed that lacrosse was a gift from the Creator, and it is considered his favourite game; bringing much enjoyment to the Indian people.
The World Games are a showcase for sports hoping to make the jump to full inclusion in the Olympics, and the Medicine Game has gained enough international popularity to be an aspirant.

The Iroquois Nationals, even though they placed third in the same qualifying tournament as Ireland, were originally considered ineligible for TWG22 because they did not have the representation of a national Olympic committee. After the participants in TWG22 men’s lacrosse tournament were chosen, the organizers relented on the subject of the Nationals’ eligibility in the face of protests, including calls for a boycott of the games by the Nationals over their exclusion.

Once the Iroquois Nationals were confirmed as eligible, Lacrosse Ireland put out a statement about their actions and their intentions.

The Nationals replied: ”We are storytellers, but today we are without words....

As a tribute, The Iroquois Nationals created a green, white, and orange version of their team logo. Unsurprisingly, Lacrosse Ireland’s logo looks excellent in purple and yellow too.

And yes; merch arrangements are being worked out; put away your “TAKE MY MONEY” gifs.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (16 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
The very definition of good sportsmanship. It's tempting to be cynical, but I can fully believe the Irish team just wanted to do what's right.
posted by fight or flight at 11:43 AM on September 7, 2020 [13 favorites]

I'm not crying, you're crying.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 12:11 PM on September 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm not crying, I'm bawling.

I love telling my white idiot colleagues that lacrosse is an Indian game and that soccer, hockey, and field hockey derive from it. Really? they say. Really?
posted by medusa at 12:16 PM on September 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

Aren't some of the Irish still struggling to be free?
posted by infini at 12:23 PM on September 7, 2020

YAAAAAAWN.... Good Friday Agreement

posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:40 PM on September 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's completely obvious - and the only just thing - that the Iroquois should compete in the sport that they literally invented.

I was wondering whether Canada should designate the Iroquois nationals as its national lacrosse team, but then I thought: I don't think the Haudenosaunee would want that - they are their own nation, not Canadian nor American (though members may have citizenship in those countries as well), but Haudenosaunee.

Also, the Six Nations of the Grand River are really not happy with Ontario right now.
posted by jb at 1:10 PM on September 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

And yes, the Irish/free issue is a derail - and much too complicated to discuss. Let's stick with the non-recognition of indigenous North American nations and/or lacrosse, the most fearsome sport ever created. The only thing scarier is box lacrosse.

minor quibble: hockey & field hockey absolutely developed from lacrosse, but soccer (aka football in the rest of the world) is European. I've seen 17th century documents describing football games in England and they were already ancient there. Not that kicking a ball around is particularly original - I'm sure it's been invented many times over and over again.
posted by jb at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

It's tempting to be cynical, but I can fully believe the Irish team just wanted to do what's right.

There's a long history of First Nations / Irish solidarity gestures, and in the wake of this summer's Navajo COVID fund going viral among both the diaspora and Irish citizens themselves, I absolutely believe that the Irish team would have been reminded about that history when this came up. I am delighted that it was the Irish team who stepped down, but I'm actually less surprised that it was them than I would have been if the Canadian (or god forbid, American) teams had chosen to do so.
posted by sciatrix at 1:17 PM on September 7, 2020 [14 favorites]

good on you lads.

also, i really hope lacrosse makes it into the olympics. i've only seen amateur university-level games but it's great to watch - super-fast and aggressive. (and seemingly less prone to outbreaks of stick-biting berserker fury than hockey, although perhaps that varies by team..?)

minor quibble: hockey & field hockey absolutely developed from lacrosse

minorer quibble: this is also debatable

posted by inire at 2:08 PM on September 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm reminded of when the Choctaw Nation, who'd just been on the Trail of Tears, pooled whatever money they could spare and sent it to Irish Famine Relief. The Irish have never, ever forgotten that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:24 PM on September 7, 2020 [30 favorites]

lacrosse, the most fearsome sport ever created.

Yer not wrong. I passed my misspent youth playing it, but I had to give it up because achy breaky rib cage. Its arguable that rugby is rougher, but rugby players are not given stout lengths of hickory and encouraged to thwack their opponents with them.

A coworker of mine, a big (ice) hockey fan, once expressed some interest in seeing a lacrosse game once. She asked if we could go, as she wanted some background on the sport from me. I recall a lot of her wincing at the carnage and asking, "Surely THAT is a penalty!" and me saying, "Naah, that's fine."

Anyway, as an Irish-Canadian ex-lacrosse player who has become more aware of First Nations issues in the last few years, this story is exactly what I wanted to read without knowing that I wanted to read it. Thanks for posting it, PBZM.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:29 PM on September 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

This is an awesome story, and I'm glad to see it posted here.
posted by nubs at 6:16 PM on September 7, 2020

This is very sporting of the Irish team. The Iroquois Nationals have had all sorts of travel troubles in the past, so let's hope they get to play.

Hurling and shinty pre-date any American contact by centuries, though.
posted by scruss at 7:42 PM on September 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

This version is dubbed in French, but it’s my favorite scene from Last of the Mohicans:
Is this our war? What of our families, our farms, why should we… OH SNAP; GAME ON!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:36 PM on September 7, 2020

I'm not following sports at all, but damn if I'm not a sucker for a display of good sportsmanship. Good on Lacrosse Ireland, and this really brightened my day (and put a lump in my throat)!
posted by Harald74 at 11:59 PM on September 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm totally crying. Thank God there are still some moments left where I can love humanity.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:57 PM on September 8, 2020

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