To the Editor:

Mike Obernauer (“McSorley Trial Unnecessary,” 10/5) wrote that despite the “brutality” of the illegal check against Donald Brashear, Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins should not be held legally accountable by Vancouver prosecutors for his violent outburst on the ice.

Obernauer fails to provide a sufficient reason why hockey players should be exempt from the law. Why should the sporting arena provide immunity to violent aggression that would in any other venue be considered assault?

Obernauer may be correct in asserting that McSorley is being “selectively” prosecuted when many hockey players break laws on the ice. But he is wrong to assert that that, “too many people, including the Crown prosecutor, have let their emotions corrupt their reason.”

To the contrary, prosecutors are not letting their love of Canada’s pastime corrupt their sound legal reasoning. McSorley intentionally knocked his opponent unconscious. His violence should be subject to more than just the NHL punishment Obernauer prescribes; McSorley’s actions should be subject to investigation by authorities sworn to hold everyone to the same legal standards — on the ice or off.

Morgan Barth

October 6, 2000

The writer is a high school classmate of Michael Obernauer.