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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Winnipeg-born hockey players killed, teams investigate group discussion comments

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A group of Winnipeg-born hockey players linked to a sexist group chat are either dropped by their teams or investigated after screenshots of the private conversation were made public earlier this week.

The Washington Capitals on Friday imposed unconditional waivers on the Winnipegger Brendan Leipsic, saying the team intends to terminate the $ 700,000 contract it signed in July.

The Florida Panthers are investigating the situation, which involves one of their prospects, Jack Rodewald, 26.

“This has no place in our organization or our big game,” wrote a Panthers spokesperson in an email. “We will cooperate fully with the league, [National Hockey League Players’ Association] and the [Professional Hockey Players’ Association] to ensure that this matter is dealt with quickly and appropriately. “

The University of North Dakota said in an email that it is investigating one of its hockey players – Jackson Keane – whose name appears as a participant in the group chat.

Jeremey Leipsic, Brendan Leipsic’s younger brother, was also in the chat. He was kicked out of the University of Manitoba men’s hockey team on Thursday for his involvement.

The men commented in their conversation on the online photos of different women, writing things like “oink oink”, “she is actually disgusting” and “I honestly hope their fat so that I can degrade it” .

The men also insulted other NHL players.

“Task for sport”

Peter Woods, executive director of Hockey Manitoba, said the news outweighed the benefits of participating in sports.

“It brings a little bit of stain to the sport, which is very unfortunate,” said Woods.

Peter Woods is the executive director of Hockey Manitoba. (CBC)

Hockey coaches and parents must complete Respect in sport Said Woods.

There is a policy on bullying and abuse, he said.

“It’s a social problem, and it’s not necessarily a sport problem,” said Woods.

“It turns out that these are members of our community who have gone through our programs, but I think it’s bigger, beyond that.

“It may be unfair that a few have tainted the excellent players we have encountered through our program. It is unfortunate that the hockey community has to stand up for this when there are so many good things happening in the community.”

“Simply not good”

Sport Manitoba, the agency that promotes amateur athletics in Manitoba, said it was working at the national level to create programs for all athletes focused on behavior and creating a healthy sport environment.

In this case, director of sports Janet McMahon said the men’s comments could be summed up as an “abuse of power”.

“They feel they have power over certain environments and people, and I think the power dynamics create this uneven playing field,” said McMahon, adding that this is something that needs to be recognized.

“You may be very powerful in the world of hockey, but when it comes to these kinds of behaviors, they just aren’t right.”

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