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Brutal Hockey Hazing Gets Team Suspended And Victim Sidelined

Brutal Hockey Hazing Gets Team Suspended And Victim Sidelined

When you think of hazing rituals, what do you think of?

Do you think of teenagers having strings tied around their scrotums and being forced to drag a water bottle carrier around the floor by that same string while their teammates mock them and throw towels on the containers to add extra weight?

Because that’s exactly what happened to five teenage Junior A hockey players in Neepawa, Manitoba in late September. The Neepawa Natives may claim to “have a rich and proud history of developing players for all levels of hockey,” but this team doesn’t seem to have any kind of history of respect or common sense at any level, given that the Assistant Coach of the team was in the room while this was going on.

When one player (who has remained anonymous) admitted to his parents what had happened, they filed a complaint against the team. Did the team realize the error of their ways? Hardly. They told the complaining player that he had to apologize to his teammates for ratting them out, then he was asked to “take some time off from playing” — he has since quit the team entirely.  His family has also faced criticism from the entire community for filing the complaint.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League, who has oversight over the Neepawa Natives, isn’t being quite as obtuse.  They investigated the complaints of all players. Today, they announced the team had been fined $5,000 and the Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Captain and various players have all been suspended for multiple games. In addition, all clubs in the MJHL will be expected to participate in an educational program to hopefully eradicate hazing. The RCMP is also investigating the incident.

However, ultimately, the perpetrators will all go back to playing hockey, while the victim who was brave enough to speak out against the abuse is sitting on the sidelines, teamless. Is that what the MJHL and Hockey Canada are really saying — that being a silent “team player” in the face of abuse is the only way to really be successful in hockey?


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Photo Credit: dawhitfield on Flickr.

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5:32PM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

This is not fair. Who knows what physical problems will result from it. There is no fair way of doing anything about it, because other teams will know what is going on and who he is and will steer clear of him in case of anything happening.

Hazing is a horrid happening. It happens so often that it the hazers were caught, they would probably circle the world a few times. Hazing has to stop.

9:27PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

that teamless kid will prolly grow up to be someone's fine teacher, an excellent researcher, or good corporate fellow. the dummies who perpetrated the bullying? they'll prolly always be knuckle draggers. let's hope they never get badges and guns.

2:13AM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Disgusting attitude.

8:59PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

This type of abhorrent behaviour has no place in any sport or situation. It perpetuates a culture of bullying and violence in an already violent sport. Here the victim is punished and the perps treated as heroes. This is not the kind of message that young people should be getting. Good on the lad for standing up against this nonsense.

7:57PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Christina I agree with you. These are parents too. You'd think they would like to be grandparents some day. Never mind the fact that what happened was sexual assault and abuse. And the _family_ got harrassed? This is a really screwed up world.

6:40PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Hazing is just another name for bullying. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. These boys and coaches are just bullies and stupid ones at that.

4:08PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

How awful that the community was against the family!

12:57PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

What should amaze us is that the religious right, which speaks so angrily and with fear against caring loving relationships between same sex partners has not come to speak out against this disgusting display of supposed heterosexual masculinity.

12:32PM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Will someone please explain to me what it is about some sports that turn normal people into sub-humans? Is it testosterone? Or booze? What?

Fred H.

I may be off base here, but I suspect two things are involved in ignoring abuse against males.
First, people don't believe that males can be abused. After all they are stronger and more powerful, aren't they? Second, men probably don't admit to being abused by their partner because it is admitting weakness.
Woman are just as capable of assaulting men as the other way around and we should be aware of it.

11:55AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Feminism combated a tradition of silence and raised awareness about violence against women. Yet, there's actually a far, far greater tradition of insensitivity toward violence against men. Indeed, despite scientific researchers finding (with absolute consistency for over 30 years), that women assault their partners at least as often as men, we STILL condone (and even laugh at) domestic violence against men.

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