The San Jose Sharks apparently will no longer be one of three NHL teams still using a version of the Gary Glitter hit Rock and Roll, Part II to celebrate home goals. The Kansas City Star announced that the NFL Chiefs are doing the same thing Friday, August 21.
San Jose vice president of media relations and broadcast Scott Emmert emailed atombash.com a copy of the communication sent to season ticket holders explaining the change. There is no reference to it on the website and he stated that there is no intended public comment outside of the letter.
It is important to draw the distinction that the Sharks have technically used a variation of the song and Emmert stated “it is my understanding that the organ version does not pay any actual royalties” to Glitter. Still, featuring the art of a convicted pedophile is something that now only the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche do. Those teams were contacted for comment after the close of their week, and a follow-up piece will be done once they have a chance to respond.
San Jose acknowledges having gone down this road before and fans rejecting the change, but the reasons for a different take are examined in the excerpt of the letter below that is presented as a preamble to inviting those fans to take part:
(E)arlier this year, Mr. Glitter was convicted of several horrific sexual abuse crimes which involved minors. He is serving a 16-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom.
While we understand this song may have been an integral part of some fans’ game-night experience, we feel emphatically that we cannot ignore the connection between the song and the recent, very serious criminal conviction of the song’s artist. Thus, we believe it is time to alter this aspect of our in-game entertainment and begin a new tradition.
As a Sharks Season Ticket Holder, you understand the pulse of Sharks Territory. So it only makes sense to have you involved in the process as we select the new Sharks goal song. You will have the opportunity to rate the new goal song options as we move through the selection process (we’ll also be considering feedback from the players).
What those song choices will be has yet to be determined. Yet the Sharks should be applauded for acknowledging that with or without a connection to Glitter’s wallet, playing his song feeds its popularity. Tradition is no reason to continue paying tribute to something that became a vehicle for exploiting children, and a new song will not diminish the celebration but establish a new tradition without the negative association.