TSN’s Rick Westhead has revealed a disturbing story that has taken place in the Western Hockey League. A former WHL player has filed a complaint with the league regarding sexual and physical abuse he said he experienced during his junior career.
On Saturday, the former player emailed the league, requesting to remain anonymous. This includes his name, the teams he played for, and the years he played in the WHL.
“The WHL takes matters such as this very seriously and we have indicated to (the complainant) we will be in contact with him immediately to begin our investigation,” WHL spokesperson Taylor Rocca said, according to Westhead.
The player said that during one incident, two teammates attacked him on a road trip.
“The abuse occurred while I was unfolding the rookie cot,” he wrote. “I was attacked and pinned down face first by the two assailants, my hands at my side, with one assailant kneeling on each of my shoulders with his crotch against the back of my head and the second assailant sitting on my upper back. I was pinned helpless and unable to move; my face was pushed into the mattress. The only way to breathe was to move my head from side to side to get a gasp of air. The first assailant sitting on my shoulders removed his penis from his pants and proceeded to slap his penis off the side of my face when I attempted to get air while both assailants laughed saying, ‘Not so tough now, hey rookie.’”
He added that one a separate occasion, the same two teammates forced several rookies to strip naked in the dressing room and play tug-of-war with a string tied to their genitals.
It goes on : the former player detailed multiple other incidents in the complaint. He named the alleged assailants, several of whom currently have prominent roles in the hockey industry.
He goes on to revealing that the abuse has pushed him to become a “black mass of anger, untrust of people, self-isolation, and alcohol abuse”, he would was previously known as a “driven, happy, engaged young man and a solid NHL hockey prospect.”
Last week, former CHL players Dan Carcillo and Garrett Taylor filed a class-action lawsuit against the league over alleged abuse. Days earlier, police began an investigation after a former Kitchener Rangers player, Eric Guest, said a teammate forced him to try cocaine as a rookie.