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Brent Sopel clarifies comments he made about Marc Crawford kicking and choking him

5 décembre 2019
One of Marc Crawford's former players is walking back some comments he made a year ago about playing under him. Crawford is currently under investigation and has at least temporarily left his assistant coaching position with the Chicago Blackhawks after Sean Avery revealed Crawford kicked him hard enough to leave a mark while he was playing for him with the L.A. Kings. After Avery made those comments recently, someone dragged up an interview Brent Sopel did with the Spittin' Chiclets podcast about a year ago where he talked about Crawford kicking him, choking him and personally attacking players while he was playing for the Vancouver Canucks. Sopel has now released a statement on Twitter in an attempt to clarify what he was talking about at the time.


"The stories that I shared on 'Spittin' Chiclets' have recently been cited alongside accusations made by other players against Coach Marc Crawford. It was not my intent to make any allegations against anyone or any organization," said Sopel in his statement. "I was only speaking to how Coach Crawford affected me. I cannot speak for how others were affected by him. I played hundreds of game for Coach Crawford, including a season where I posted 42 points. He found ways to motivate me and make me a better player. He molded me into a player that went on to win a Stanley Cup in Chicago."

"I recognize and respect that different coaching tactics affect people in different ways," continued Sopel. "Just as I prefer others not to speak on my behalf about my life experiences, I will not comments on Coach Crawford's impact on other players. Those are not my stories to tell."

Sopel ended his statement by saying he will have no further comment on the matter.

Avery has also attempted to clarify his comments about Crawford. He released a video on Twitter earlier this week saying Crawford “had every right in the world to kick me" and called Crawford his “second favorite NHL coach.” Avery initially said Crawford kicked him after he was responsible for a too many men penalty that resulted in the L.A. Kings getting scored on.

The allegations against Crawford came to light after several stories started surfacing about former Toronto and Detroit coach Mike Babcock and his treatment of some of his players. There was also the incident involving Bill Peters and former NHLer Akim Aliu in which Peters used racial slurs while addressing the player of Nigerian decent. Peters eventually admitted to using the slurs, and stepped down from his job as head coach of the Calgary Flames.

Sopel's statement on his previous comments:



Sopel's original comments on Crawford while appearing on the Spittin' Chiclets podcast:

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