Hockey Canada's ugly scandal hides difficult secrets

Published May 27, 2022 at 2:11 PM
BY

The culture of sports is not all good. We saw that this Thursday as we learned that Hockey Canada and the CHL have officially issued a settlement with a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by eight CHL players, including members of the 2017-2018 World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal team.


Noted reporter Rick Westhead (TSN) reported that the young woman, identified in court records as "E.M.," asked a judge to award $3.55 million, including $2 million for past and future monetary damages, $1 million for punitive damages, $300,000 for pain and suffering and $50,000 for mental and emotional stress. Knowing that the whole thing was settled out of court, it would not be surprising if this amount was cut in half and the plaintiff received close to $1.78 million.

But who paid this huge sum? I am sad to say that it was you, dear Canadian taxpayers. You unknowingly helped to cover up one of the most horrific stories ever uncovered in sports.


Let's face it, Hockey Canada, which is a federation, lives on government grants and sponsors. It would be very surprising if the money was taken out of the pocket of the sponsors, who certainly would not want their name tarnished by this story. Unless there is insurance in place for lawsuits (why would they approve that anyway?), that leaves the government pocketbook in order to pay for it all. According to their annual report 2020-2021, 6% of their funds in 2020-2021 come from the government and 5% come from registration fees for young Canadian field hockey players.

Last summer, the Canadiens drafted Logan Mailloux and created quite a scandal. We remember that he had, while playing in Europe, shared an intimate photo of a girlfriend without her consent. Following his draft by Marc Bergevin, it did not take too long before the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, got involved...

While not minimizing Mailloux's crime, far from it, hopefully the Hockey Canada scandal will be addressed by the head of state, especially since he gives funds to the Federation...

Another point that raises questions is why Hockey Canada allows itself to hide this kind of story. We know too well that it is to avoid tarnishing their reputation, but do they really have the moral right to do so? We remind you that it is a Federation and not a private company. This is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed because from an external perspective, Hockey Canada does not have the moral authority to meddle in the legal affairs of its members. In fact, by paying the victim, the Federation has, in a way, endorsed the act...

For its part, the NHL said it was taking the story very seriously. They don't have much of a choice because they have set the bar very high, with good reason, after the Kyle Beach story. Many jobs were sacrificed and many men's reputations took a huge fall. One has to wonder how the players involved in this sordid story that came out yesterday would fare?


There are not a thousand ways to get some semblance of justice here. Even if the whole thing doesn't go to court, the names of the players must be revealed. If there is no legal case, it's boring to say but there must be a media case...
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