#BenchPolyMet Round Two: Boys’ Tourney Starts Tomorrow!

#BenchPolyMet, share freely

#BenchPolyMet, please download and use freely

By JT Haines — March 3, 2015

Good people of Minnesota and beyond! The Minnesota State Boys’ High School Hockey Tournament starts tomorrow — happy, happy, happy day. Except for one thing — PolyMet Mining Corp will once again be plastering advertisements all over our tournament, at the arena and on TV. That’s not okay. (For more details as to why, check out my original post launching the #BenchPolyMet hashtag here.)

A friend asked me recently — What’s the big deal? Isn’t this the same as any other company advertising?

This unsuspecting goal scorer has an unpaid sponsorship from a controversial international mining company!

This unsuspecting goal scorer has an unpaid sponsorship from a controversial international mining company!

Indeed, just how is this different from McDonald’s advertising during the state tournament? Great question, friend. To be fair, this is a actually a little bit like the Amazon-deforesting purveyors of childhood obesity at McDonald’s pretending they have kids’ health in mind during a kids’ hockey tournament. We shouldn’t allow that either. But there’s yet an additional problem here: PolyMet is currently seeking controversial mining permits in Minnesota, a process involving no fewer than six state and federal agencies, the next EIS for which is evidently expected this spring. In other words, PolyMet’s ad dollars and fabricated images are being tossed around right during this crucial democratic moment for Minnesota. Think that doesn’t have an impact? Clearly PolyMet’s Mad Men don’t agree. Meanwhile, proponents of the project keep insisting that we “let the process work.” Is public bribery and tournament propaganda “letting the process work”? PolyMet is a dangerous company. What they’re doing here is wrong, and it’s just subtle enough to fly under many people’s radar. I think it’s very much worth our attention, and based on the Newspeak Review and #BenchPolyMet traffic during the girls tournament, it looks like I’m not alone. Hoping to see an even greater response from the community during the boys’ tourney.

If you’re into it, here are some options:

  • Use the #BenchPolyMet image (above) for your cover photo on Twitter and Facebook during the tourney.
  • Tweet and post using the #BenchPolyMet.
  • Tweet @MSHSL if you have a message for the league (which ultimately has a lot do with sponsors).
  • Tweet @KSTC45 if you have a message for the TV station carrying the ads.
  • If you’re feeling saucy, tweet @GoPolyMet if you have a message for the permit seeker.
  • If you’re really feeling saucy, how cool would it be to see a #BenchPolyMet sign at the games?

If you agree that PolyMet’s behavior at the tournament is abhorrent, help call foul on this blatant insult to our intelligence and affront to our democracy. (Heads up, I will be up North taking photos for our pondhockeybook.com photo project on the Range this weekend, so won’t be as available to snag photos and create shareable images, but I will be checking for Retweet opportunities.) Feel free to tag @NewpeakReview, @JTH2020, and please use the hashtag #BenchPolyMet. And, best of luck to all the tournament teams this weekend. PolyMet or no, this is a proud proud annual moment for our state, and one that I feel very lucky to be a part of. Happy hockey watching!

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