photo

CHL RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OF ITS PLAYERS

The Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization that represents the three Canada-based major junior ice hockey leagues, has issued a response to a class-action lawsuit that alleges physical and sexual assault and psychological trauma was suffered by former players. In its response, the CHL stated it is launching an independent review panel to "thoroughly review the current policies and practices in our leagues that relate to hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying and the allegation that players do not feel comfortable reporting behaviours that contravene these policies."

"Every year the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which includes the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), are charged with the care and safety of the 1,400 young men who play in our league. The CHL is committed to ensuring them an environment that is Players First and free of hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying, and that provides zero tolerance for any of these behaviours."

"We are deeply troubled by the allegations in the recently announced class action, many of which are historic in nature and we believe are not indicative of the leading experience our players receive in the CHL today. Regardless of the timing, we are taking the claims very seriously as the protection of our players has been and will always be our primary concern."

The lawsuit was originally launched by former NHLer Dan Carcillo, who made allegations based on his days playing with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. Two other players have since joined the suit and one of them, goaltender Ryan Munce, has corroborated many of the claims made in the suit, many of which are troubling to say the least.



In the statement of claim, Carcillo alleges that during showers, rookies were required sit in the middle of the shower room naked while the older players urinated, spat saliva and tobacco chew on them. At least once, the lawsuit alleges, head coach Jeff Perry walked into the shower room while this was occurring, laughed and walked out. It claims rookies were repetitively hit on their bare buttocks with a sawed off goalie stick, developing large welts and open sores. The injuries were so bad that they couldn’t sit down, even while attending local high school classes. They advised team staff of this abuse, which did not stop. Carcillo alleged in the lawsuit that rookies had to bob for apples in a cooler filled with the older players’ urine, saliva and other bodily fluids. It is also alleged an instance where a naked rookie was taped to a table with his buttocks in the air. Older players were whipping him with a belt. It is alleged Perry took part, whipped the child and laughed while the boy cried. Munce also stated a Jewish teammate was taunted by one of the members on the team who put black tape on his upper lip and did an impersonation of Adolph Hitler. He also said there were often incidents of racism on that team.

"The CHL and its member leagues have made a number of advancements to enhance our player experience programs over the past 20 years," said the league in its response Friday. "We have been working with organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Red Cross and Respect in Sport, to develop extensive policies and practices to educate players and team staff on the importance of respect and prevention of hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying. Throughout the leagues we have worked to ensure there is a zero tolerance for violations of our rules and policies for both the team and players. We believe these programs protect our players and ensure that everyone associated with our teams understand that the type of misconduct alleged is not tolerated."

TIM TUCKER
JUNE 26, 2020  (15H15)
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
image
What is the westernmost province of Canada?
ALBERTA
BRITISH COLUMBIA
MANITOBA
NEW SCOTLAND
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON