Manitoba Daily

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Hockey Canada controversy has Manitoba parents and experts calling for change

Manitoba parents and experts demand action as a result to the Hockey Canada scandal

Key Takeaways:

  • Even if the organisation says it will make adjustments, many think a major revamp is required to solve the deeply established problems in the sport.
  • The CEO of Hockey Canada, Scott Smith, asserted that he was the ideal choice to lead the company in new directions.

After a sexual assault incident involving Hockey Canada, Manitoba hockey parents call for change.

Even while the organization promises to make changes, many believe that a substantial overhaul is necessary to address the deeply ingrained issues in the sport. A percentage of parents’ fees for their children to play hockey was used to settle claims of sexual assault and abuse.

Christine Golding, whose daughter, 12, is a goaltender who has played AA hockey, said, “I feel that especially with great athletes, a lot of things just get thrown under the rug, and that’s not a lesson any youngster should be taught.”

This week’s focus of the parliamentary hearing in Ottawa was Hockey Canada’s response to the allegation. During the hearings, some lawmakers demanded the CEO of Hockey Canada step down in response to the incident, which Winnipeg hockey mom Krissy Cress called disgraceful and revolting.

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Everyone is disgusted, remarked Cress. I don’t know of a single individual who isn’t.

Following a Hockey Canada event in London in June 2018, a woman filed a complaint in May against the organization, alleging that eight former Canadian Hockey League players had sexually abused her. Hockey Canada settled the case in May.

The organization’s use of a little-known fund, funded partly by player registration fees gathered from parents and participants nationwide to resolve sexual assault and sexual abuse cases, was then made public.

Cress remarked, “That was rather startling. “I would prefer not to pay the $25 registration cost.”

Sandra Kirby, a former Olympian and professor emerita at the University of Winnipeg study sexual assault and harassment in sports and believes parents have a legitimate concern.

Kirby added that hockey grabs hold of you and holds on for dear life. It wants you to participate in spring and summer camps as if you are on the road to the NHL and playing with your club.

One of the 28 experts that signed a letter to the minister of sport and members of parliament in Canada offering solutions to the sexual assault and misogyny they claim is pervasive in men’s hockey was Kirby.

According to her, players are frequently influenced by the game from an early age in what may be a highly sexualized and win-at-all-costs atmosphere.

Manitoba parents and experts demand action as a result to the Hockey Canada scandal.
Manitoba parents and experts demand action as a result to the Hockey Canada scandal. Image from CBC News

According to Kirby, the entire hockey culture needs to change because it is “laced with sexual innuendo as well as streaks of violence that are generally condoned by the broader hockey culture.”

Although Hockey Canada has already stated that it will no longer use the participant-funded fund to settle sexual assault accusations, Golding has seen little more to persuade her that real change will be achieved.

Young children should be educated that what they’re doing is wrong and that they shouldn’t be doing it, but when they do, there should be repercussions, according to Golding.

The sexual assault accusation from 2018 has not yet had its allegations proven in court.

Since the issue was resolved, Hockey Canada and the London police have resumed their inquiries.

Scott Smith, the CEO of Hockey Canada, said he thought he was the best candidate to take the organization in a further direction. However, others doubt he can deliver on the promises to regain the public’s trust.

Source: CTV News

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