Hockey Canada is absolutely REELING this summer thanks to multiple allegations against the organization for its role in covering up multiple alleged sexual assaults.
Hockey Canada, of course, has lost funding from several prominent sponsors like Canadian Tire, ESSO, Telus and Scotiabank due to the allegations and now hockey parents around the country are having a long, hard think about whether or not to enroll their children in minor hockey for the upcoming season.
Jennifer Ferreira of CTV News with more:
39-year-old Erin Schnare said she is on the fence about allowing her children to register for the upcoming hockey season.
Schnare lives in Halifax with her husband and three children. Her eldest son, who is about to turn seven, has been playing hockey for nearly two years, while her three-year-old daughter will soon be eligible for enrollment.
“I don’t know if I’ll put them in this year, I’m struggling with it,” she told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Thursday. “What if things don’t change?”
A very valid concern, especially considering that the people in charge of enacting change are the people who allowed this to happen in the first place. Incredibly, none of Hockey Canada's executive staff have resigned in the wake of this controversy.
More from CTV News:
Rhonni Bonn, a single mother who lives in Westbank First Nation, in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, said the surfacing of these allegations have caused her to lose trust in the organization.
“These are young men that are doing things that they shouldn’t be doing,” she told CTVNews.ca on Sunday in a telephone interview. “They’re there to be positive, inspirational role models … to young children, and they’re really not.”
Since registration for the fall hockey season opened in June, Bonn said she and her 12-year-old son have been discussing whether he should enroll. With these allegations now top of mind, Bonn said her son has decided not to play this year.
“He’s not going to play hockey because … he’s disappointed,” Bonn said. “He didn’t like that that was going on … and he didn’t agree with it. He’s looking forward to taking a break.”
“I’m a single mom trying to raise a young boy to respect women, and these people in the hockey association don’t,” she said. “It’s a big turnoff. Why would I support rape culture? I’d rather send him somewhere else.”
More from Ferreira:
“I have lost total trust,” the 49-year-old mother told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Thursday. “[But] I will be forced to put them in, should he and the kids desire it. My voice alone will not be enough in my household.”
The culture of silence within the sport is what concerns her the most, Mansour said. Accountability for poor behaviour should be addressed starting at the grassroots level, she said.
“The hockey community is one [where] even if parents have a concern, they don’t come forward with it … because they don’t believe that they’ll be heard,” Mansour said.
Suffice it to say, these are not isolated opinions. The fact of the matter is that enrollment in minor hockey is down throughout Canada and I personally don't believe it's simply because of recent allegations. Minor hockey has simply become too financially burdensome and too much of a time commitment, even at lower levels. When a C level Atom team is on the ice three times a week, with one night of dry land training a week we've gone off the deep end. Let kids be kids and let them have fun playing the game we all know and love. Make it affordable and make it fun, that's how we became the greatest hockey country on earth and personally I have real concerns that those days will be coming to an end if we don't change our approach in the coming year.