Parents of Fort McMurray minor hockey players whose team was criticized for an Indigenous locker-room dance have revealed that the club is forfeiting the season due to safety concerns, as reported by CBC.
Back in January, a video showing a boy from the Fort McMurray Midget 'A' Junior Oil Barons beating his hockey stick against a trash-can lid as he and others jumped around and shouted to a song by Indigenous electronic group A Tribe Called Red went viral.
Hours after the video surfaced online, the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association issued a media release saying it was "devastated" by the players' actions in their "disrespectful" video.
"It is wrong and will not be tolerated. The display of ignorance is sad and gravely unfortunate," association president Travis Galenzoski said in the statement. "These players will know how deeply impactful their wrong actions are."
Earlier this week, players’ parents explained on a Facebook post that some of the kids shown in the video are Indigenous and the dance was meant to be motivational, not derogatory or racist.
However, several of the players have received death threats of social media, and therefore, parents have decided it was too dangerous to finish the season.
“We as parents are saddened for our children, as the rest of the season was compromised, and they couldn’t play the game they love due to fear from threats, anxiety and humiliation,” the statement said.
“Since this incident occurred, we as parents are left to pick up the pieces, restore our children’s reputations and try to salvage the rest of the year in the face of such adversity.”
Because of the team's decision to withdraw from the remainder of the season, they have paid a $2,100 penalty.
What an unfortunate story...
Photo Credit: CBC