It’s been a tough go for Hockey’s governing body in Canada, where the sport is a religion.
A few weeks ago, Hockey Canada lost ALL their corporate partners after it was found out they had paid off a woman who was sexually assaulted by several members of Canada’s World Junior team in 2018 in London.
That investigation is ongoing and fucked. It includes a settlement for a young woman paid out of funds consisting of registration fees parents across Canada pay so their kids can play Hockey.
And it wasn’t the first time.
As that investigation continues, a new story emerges about members from the 2003 WJ team gang raping an unconscious woman, and apparently, there’s a video.
Source: Hockey Canada said that before learning of the alleged incident, staff had “heard a rumour about ‘something bad at the 2003 World Juniors'” but did not have details. They reported that information to Sport Canada and hired a third-party investigator, which was “unable to learn anything” before being contacted by TSN.
In the TSN story, three sources are said to have viewed a video that purportedly “shows roughly a half-dozen players taking turns having sex with a woman who was non-responsive.” All three of the sources told TSN they would be willing to testify in private before the committee.
Nater is a member of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which heard testimony from Hockey Canada officials on June 20 about 2018 sexual assault allegations against some members of the 2017-18 world junior team and their handling of a lawsuit settled in May. The committee will further question members of Hockey Canada, as well as others around the organization, in another set of hearings July 26-27.
Hockey Canada has been under fire for its handling of sexual violence allegations after news broke in May that it settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted in June 2018 in London, Ont., by eight CHL players, including some members of the 2017-18 Canadian world junior team.
In the two months since those allegations came to light, multiple players from that team have released statements denying their involvement. The organization has had its government funding frozen while multiple major corporate partners have suspended sponsorship agreements amid calls for action and accountability.
Those calls prompted Hockey Canada to announce last week the reopening of its third-party investigation into the matter, with the lawyer of the woman who brought forth the lawsuit confirming his client will participate. London Police Service announced Friday it was reopening its criminal investigation into the incident after an internal review conducted this week.
Investigative reports from The Canadian Press and The Globe and Mail revealed earlier this week the existence of a fund — later acknowledged by Hockey Canada as its “National Equity Fund” — that is used, at least partially, to settle claims of sexual assault.
Next week, retired CEO of Hockey Canada Tom Renney, as well as the organization’s president Scott Smith and Hockey Canada chairman Dave Andrews, will appear once again before parliament for another set of hearings as the government examines how the federation responded internally to the 2018 allegations and how it handled the lawsuit served via Ontario Superior Court in London on April 20. The three officials appeared in Ottawa for testimony on June 20, after which the committee felt more information was needed.
OOOOF. The alleged 2003 sexual assault news makes this excerpt from Jordan TooToo’s book problematic.
Wow wow wow https://t.co/pOwridiaOa
— Mary Anne Ivison (@MaOnTheAir) July 23, 2022
We stayed away from the 2018 WJHC sex assault allegations because I didn’t feel it was our job to squeeze a story when guys like Rick Westhead were doing God’s work. We supported the story in conversation but writing it felt disingenuous. The top is coming off the cone of sexual assault silence with hockey Canada, and the floodgates are opening up in a wrong way, and if this video exists, a few of these guys are probably shitting their pants.
There are guys on this list in media working for TSN.
There are guys on this list who have thriving businesses.
There are guys on this list who should be VERY scared if there’s anything to the DISGUSTING account of 6 guys taking turns having sex with an unconscious woman.
I know a lot of hockey players. This story, as gross as it is, isn’t unfamiliar, and if you asked a recently retired player if these frat boy group sex things happen, they’d be lying if they said no.
The Hockey Machine in Canada is our sense of identity. The protectionism around the sport, players, and organizations has been militant because it’s our most significant export, which is why and how these stories stayed buried for years. It’s intentional, with no regard for the victims, just the game’s reputation.
The NHL is the same animal. There’s no length they won’t go to hide sexual assaults, rampant racism, or sexism. They’ve been doing it for 100 years, and unless they get caught, or someone speaks up, they’re happy to do it.
Three sources who claim to have seen a video allegedly showing a half dozen players having non-consensual sex with a woman during the 2003 tournament in Halifax told me they would testify in private before a govt committee.
More on @SportsCentre and @CTVNationalNews tonight.
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) July 22, 2022
What we don’t know is what we don’t know, and I sincerely hope the government of Canada doesn’t take a protectionist approach to these investigations. I’m not holding my breath.
I can't and won't dispute any part of this statement because I have no clue but "I had no knowledge" is probably 100% a lie.
— Sergei (@berezin_goal) July 22, 2022
I’m personally looking forward to hearing from Joffrey Lupul, btw.