“Culture of sexual entitlement.”

These are the chilling words in the newly released details of the Boston University report on the incidents of sexual assaults by two team members. On the heels of this comes the announcement that three Sault St. Marie players (Nick Cousins, Andrew Fritsch, and Mark Petacchio) have been allowed to rejoin the team after a ten day “behavioral wellness program.”

We perceive sexual assault in the hockey world to be a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, the most recent cases at Boston University and Sault St. Marie are just the latest.

Consider this:

  • In 1989, Brian Sakic and Wade Smith were charged with sexual assault. The case was stayed, and the girl was charged with mischief. She was acquitted, but the judge found that an assault did occur. Despite this, the two were never brought to trial. During the girl’s trial, during her trial, the investigating RCMP officer testified, “I didn’t believe her . . . I felt it would be impossible for a male person to hold a woman down, take off her clothes, and put on a condom.” The details of the case are disturbing and described here.
  • In 1990, three Caps players (Dino Ciccarelli, Neil Sheehy and Geoff Courtnall) were accused of raping a 17 yr old girl in a limo. A grand jury refused to indict, saying the evidence was insufficient. All three players were traded a short time later.
  • In 1990, prep school player Joshua Singlewald was charged with first-degree sexual assault while visiting Brown University on a recruiting trip.
  • In 1993, two Anchorage High School players were charged with assaulting a girl who had passed out drunk.
  • In 1994, five Umass-Dartmouth players were charged with sexual assault.
  • In 1995, former St. Sault Marie Greyhounds player Jarret Reid pled guilty to several charges, among them sexual assault. He was sentenced to 9 months in jail and two years’ probation.
  • In 1995, Ed Jovanovski and two OHL teammates were charged with sexual assault. The charges were dropped for lack of evidence and there were indications the woman may have lied. “Coming up to the next level, I’m going to have to beware and use good judgment,” Jovanovski said.
  • In 1996, two Dallas Stars players (Todd Harvey and Grant Marshall) were charged with sexual assault.
  • In 1996, former Michigan State player Brian Wiseman went on trial for assaulting a girl in 1991.
  • In 1996, Pens player Peter Nedved was accused of sexual assault. Charges were dropped after it was discovered the women was simply seeking money.
  • In 1999, St. Francis Xavier University player Andrew Power was convicted of sexual assault. He appealed the case on the grounds that the victim’s prior sexual history should have been admitted as evidence, but the judge ruled the conviction stands.
  • In 2000, barrie Colts players Nicholas Robinson, Michael D’Alessandro, and Aaron Power were charged with sexual assault. Charges were subsequently dropped.
  • In 2000, Ottawa 67s player Lance Galbraith was charged with sexual assault after a six month investigation. “He’s innocent until proven guilty, and hopefully this will only be a minor distraction,” said team president Jeff Hunt. The year before, two players had been arrested for physical assault of a taxi driver.
  • In 2001, a University of Minnesota-Duluth player pleaded guilty to fourth- degree criminal sexual conduct
  • In 2002, former NHL player Garth Butcher was charged with sexual assault and administering a noxious substance.
  • In 2006, University of Minnesota-Duluth player Blair Lefebvre pleaded guilty to sexual assault. He got 2 years’ probation.
  • In 2006, Victoria Salmon Kings players were accused of rape. Charges were delayed, because the witnesses are all members of the hockey team and created an obstacle to accurately and fully investigating the case.
  • In 2007, University of Maine player Tanner House was charged with unlawful sexual touching. The charges were dropped in exchange for House performing 30 hours of community service. “If he performs a set amount of community service work we will dismiss the charge basically based upon the wishes of the victim and our understanding that a conviction could cause substantial immigration problems for him,” said Assistant District Attorney Michael Roberts.
  • In 2009, an Albany River Rats player was charged with committing a first-degree criminal sex act.
  • In 2009, Sound Tigers player Robert Hughes was indicted on two counts of sexual assault. According to his attorney, Hughes had not given the incident a “second thought until the marshals showed up at his locker to arrest him.”
  • In 2011, two Mercyhurst College players were charged with sexual assault and were acquitted.

These are just a handful of cases revealed in a cursory search. Imagine what an in-depth search would look like.

These athletes have a sense of entitlement. They’ve been told at an early age that they’re special, they’re better than others. They play on popular and/or successful teams and are local celebrities.  Their perception of the world is warped at a fairly early age. When they act out, it’s written off as “boys will be boys” or “that’s just how hockey players are.”

In 1996, The Fifth Estate (a CBC investigative show) examined junior hockey and six sexual assault cases against junior players. According to the program’s interview with a “puck bunny,” group sex was the norm, as was passing girls from one player to another. Women and girls have become objects to be had at will, described by their sexual performance or physical attributes. Players often feel they are entitled to sex, and often believe in myths such as “no means maybe” and that you don’t need permission when alcohol is involved. Many of the cases have a common feature: a group of three to five players are alleged to have fondled a woman, then one asks the rest to leave, and proceeds to assault her. Almost every case involved alcohol.

Many hockey teams handle problems internally, thus insulating the players further. Consequently, players learn that getting caught usually means a minor punishment, and should anything more serious arise, they know the coach, boosters, etc. will try to take care of it for them. In their world, there are few, if any, serious consequences for their actions.

“These guys are part of a larger culture that condones violence against women. There’s a power structure that rallies around the accused because there’s a team, a coach, athletic director and others who are stakeholders in the outcome,” says Jonathan Katz, president of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Strategies.

In several of the cases above, the players were allowed to continue playing, at least for a while. In one Mercyhurst case, rather than implement training on sexual assault or drinking, the college merely raised its fine for excessive drinking from $25 to $100, and moved to make dorms alcohol-free.

Details in the BU case are troubling. “This year the team co-sponsored a statewide campaign to prevent assaults on women…The BU student newspaper regularly reports on apparent episodes of heavy drinking and bad behavior among hockey players, and Trivino and another team member recently made a profane YouTube video about women.”

Some of the BU campus newspaper reports included descriptions like this: “Some of the players were often disruptive, made lewd comments, and knocked on girls’ doors to ask for condoms or see if the girls would let the barely dressed players into their rooms,” the newspaper reported. In October, the resident assistant sent an e-mail stating that the floor was not a zoo and begged them to “stop behaving like animals.” So far, there isn’t much evidence that demonstrates players were disciplined for this behavior, despite campus code of life violations. In fact, one university official admitted that Trivino had been involved in multiple alcohol infractions prior to this arrest.

Where was the coach during all of this? The athletic director? Why did it take “multiple” infractions before he was finally kicked off the team?

This sort of atmosphere implies that the sport, and its athletes are more important than victims. Players are allowed to act like animals and get away with it. What could a victim expect if she does come forward?

“[E]ven if the claim is legitimate there is enormous pressure on the victim not to press charges, that you’re ruining his career,” says Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex crimes unit in the Manhattan district attorney’s office in New York and a board member of the National Center for Victims of Crime. While she’s referring to cases in other sports, it holds true for hockey as well.

Sometimes the entire community will turn against a victim. In a few of the cases, team staff have called the victims repeatedly to pressure them. They are subjected to harassment from peers, derision at the assumption they are puck bunnies, trying to cover for their own misdeeds or just simply being called a liar. One girl was “chased out of town,” according to the investigating officer. Others were subjected to constant harassment on campus.

When cases are investigated, they tend to become a “he said, she said” because rape is a crime that rarely occurs with witnesses. If the accusation is gang rape, the team will close ranks and make gathering evidence or accurate statements nearly impossible. There are also biases on the part of the investigating officer, which usually involve conceived notions of how sexual assaults do or do not happen. (see some of the cases listed above.)

The reason why so many cases resulted in acquittals or charges dropped for lack of evidence? “It’s not unusual for a victim to be in a state of denial, which delays and prevents the collection of usable evidence. “What you go through is self-blaming and self-guilt, because you know this person. It takes awhile for the mind to process that it wasn’t your fault. That can take 12 hours, 24 hours or 48 hours before it sinks in. In the meantime a victim will make lots of statements, and you may lose physical evidence. Until they talk to somebody else, they don’t figure out it’s rape, and then the defense uses that against you,” says Mary Keenan, a Colorado district attorney.

In the meantime, the alleged perpetrators are allowed to go on with their normal routine, at least in the juniors. They may be suspended, but it’s usually brief. In the case of the Sault St. Marie players, their suspension lasted less than a month. In other cases, it’s been two weeks. In college cases, the players are usually expelled from the team automatically, pending the outcome of the case.

Teams at all levels need to make the disciplinary process more transparent when infractions and crimes occur. “We’re handling this internally” should not be an acceptable response. It needs to be clear that the team is helping the athlete with counseling, etc., punishing them appropriately, and demonstrating consideration and respect for the community as a whole.

While a ten day “behavioral wellness program” for the Sault St. Marie players is a start, it’s nowhere near enough. They need to follow the example of other teams who have already taken proactive steps that encompass the whole team, including coaches. The Ottawa 67s have invited a police officer to speak to the team every year regarding substance and sexual abuse. Since 1992, the University of Minnesota has held a once a year meeting for student athletes on sexual assault, myths about assault, and sexism.

Even once a year meetings aren’t enough. Teams need to actively engage players on these issues, or use an independent, specialized group such as The Mentors in Violence Prevention program, which visits campuses and delivers training to student-athletes, coaches and athletic department staff on how to confront abuse, gender violence and inappropriate behaviors involving teammates, peers and co-workers.

Teams also need to take responsibility at the administrative level. For example, a bar near BU had been allowing hockey players to drink for free. While the university asked the bar to stop this practice, they also acknowledged they had no control over what the bar chose to do. What they neglect to mention is that they do have control over student-athlete compliance with rules. The athletic department could, if they choose, implement rules regarding excessive drinking. They could also provide comprehensive education on the negative effects of excessive drinking, especially on an athlete’s body and performance. Finally, they could file a complaint against the bar for failing to comply with ID checks.

While homophobia in the dressing room is being addressed, there is little push to address the anti-female aspect. There is little backlash when a player is called feminine as an insult. There is also little backlash when a newspaper or commentator refers to a player using a feminine name, such as “the Sedin sisters” or “Cindy Crosby.”

It is socially acceptable to denigrate women, and that must stop.

Or else the parade of victims will continue.

***

Jennifer Conway goes by @NHLHistoryGirl on Twitter, and is a must-follow for observation and facts about the NHL’s past and present.

Comments (39)

  1. “In 2009, an Albany River Rats player was charged with committing a first-degree criminal sex act.
    In 2009, Sound Tigers player Robert Hughes was indicted on two counts of sexual assault. According to his attorney, Hughes had not given the incident a “second thought until the marshals showed up at his locker to arrest him.””

    These two incidents are actually the same. Hughes was traded from the Hurricanes (affiliate of the River Rats) to the Islanders (affiliate of the Sound Tigers) that offseason.

    Hughes was also acquitted: http://blog.timesunion.com/crime/ex-river-rat-acquitted-of-sodomy-in-42-minutes/5332/

    • Maybe this happens to the abusers themselves. There’s been Theo Fleury, Sheldon Kennedy, two other NHLers who have told the media that they were sexually abused, and later pressed charges. This happened when they were playing Junior. Sexual abuse is an epidemic, by this I mean there have been many instances where a player while thery’re in Junior get sexually assaulted. People are victims before they become the victimizer. Theo Fleury’s cousin and other hockey players that have not made it to the NHL have come out saying that when they were teenagers they were raped and/.or sexually abused numorous times by they’re Junior hockey coach.

  2. Good article, but I think it is an issue that needs to be addressed across campuses nationwide, because it is certainly not limited to hockey. The binge drinking and hookup culture is a problem at every school, and with athletes having most social capital on campus in most cases, it puts them in a position to get away with plenty of innapropriate behavior. Junior hockey is a whole different story, but at least we haven’t seen anything like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ujKxpAvLKg come from the realm of hockey (yet).

    • The culture may be a problem sure, but as hockey fans and members of the hockey community, what we need to be cognizant of and should be angry about is the way that teams are protecting their players instead of doing everything they can to prevent this behavior and help the victims in incidents.

      Hockey coaches, administrators and players across the entire continent and at every level of the game are keeping these incidents quiet for the sake of the game and that’s unacceptable. Colleges need to address the social problems, but hockey culture needs to address the highly prevalent issue in its own locker rooms.

  3. Great post! Everyone knows that hockey players are given carte blanche, and it’s got to stop.

  4. Well done Jennifer!

  5. I like how you lead with the Joe Sakic story, considering what an ambassador for the game he is – shows that this kind of thing is throughout hockey and includes the nice guys.

    I remember reading Mario’s biography (pre-first retirement, ended around 1994) and it discussed his part in a rape case. His former teammate, Dan Quinn, was accused of raping a young woman after a party in 1992, and Mario was alleged to have prevented another woman from helping the victim. The charges against them were dropped, of course.

  6. please say brigham young not bu

    • I’m pretty sure BU (Boston University) is correct – BYU (Brigham Young) is not mentioned in the article unless I am blind.

  7. Great post. Thanks.

  8. Great article Jennifer as this is an issue that needs more light shed on it. I agree with you that this is very much a part of this rep hockey entitlement culture where they think they are better than you just because they play hockey which few can really afford. I got into a lot of fights back in the day dealing with these kind of kids, but what pains me is these manchilds that I would get into scraps with because of their disrespect of women are now having kids of their own and fuelling their kids with this half-ass philosophy of life.

  9. Really good post. I remember in highschool I heard a lot of whispers about some of the things that happened a local parties with OHLers attending. It’s a pervasive culture that is going to take a huge shift to get rid of, but awareness like this is an important step.

  10. Excellent post!
    I hope to see more posts from you in the future.

  11. This is feminism at it’s worst.

  12. Thank you for writing this. The reality of the situation is chilling.

  13. Really? Culture of Sexual Assault? Isn’t that a bit broad of a brush?

    You offer barely a handful of examples over a 20+year period.

    I’m not making the claim that there isn’t sexual assault in the NHL or hockey in general, but then again I’m not prone to make broad and sweeping claims with little more than anecdotal evidence.

    How many people play hockey at the high school, college and NHL level? Tens of thousands? More?

    You have how many examples? How many were convictions? I know the counterclaim is convictions can be hard to get and cases go unreported, but those aren’t facts that back you argument. It’s speculation that you hope backs your argument. It’s an appeal to the readers imagination rather than to facts, logic and reason.

    • Have to agree here. The author’s listed two-dozen examples (ranging from NHL players to random guys who probably sell insurance now) in a span of 25 years, a quarter of which seem to have been extortion attempts or fraud. Then just draws a broad indictment as if she’s found footage of Marion Barry buying crack.

      Maybe there is some “culture of sexual assault” in hockey, but Jennifer Conway simply doesn’t have the evidence to make that indictment and uses too-large a pool of events to draw from. The set of everybody associated with hockey on any level over 25 years is going to be in the 50 millions, two dozen instances, 1/4 of which are fraudulent, isn’t nearly enough.

      Need actual DATA to come to this conclusion. Then you need to compare the rates of incidents to the control group, which would be society at large over the same period.

      What she’s done is the equivalent of finding 25 instances of money laundering by anyone who played hockey, from NHLers, to college players, to mens’ leaguers, over the span of 25 years. Or 25 instances of suicide. Or 25 instances of gender reassignment surgery. Does that mean hockey have a culture of transgenderism? Of course not. But the author would have us believe it would.

    • Did you read the article? The author makes no claim of creating a definitive repository of every rape involving someone from the hockey world. It’s a blog, not criminology thesis.

      “These are just a handful of cases revealed in a cursory search. ”

      A culture of sexual assault doesn’t mean every single hockey player is out raping someone right now – it just means that when it does happen it is less likely that justice will be served.

      eg.

      “[E]ven if the claim is legitimate there is enormous pressure on the victim not to press charges, that you’re ruining his career,” says Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex crimes unit”

      She may have been talking about other athletes, but the problem is pervasive across all sports ( Kobe Bryant et al. in the NBA, ben Roethlisberger in the NFL, every university lacrosse team ever).

      Great piece.

      • I’m sorry, but when you claim that the culture has to change and lead with this”

        “[W]e perceive sexual assault in the hockey world to be a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, the most recent cases at Boston University and Sault St. Marie are just the latest.”

        That to me reads like there’s this huge persistent problem that is plaguing hockey.

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to downplay sexual assaults at all, but if you want to show that there is something happening here, you actually need to show that something is happening.

        Is sexual assault by hockey players the same, higher or lower than average? I can’t tell based on the evidence that she’s grabbed.

        Would I like it completely eliminated from hockey? Yes.

        Would I like it completely eliminated from society in general? Yes.

        Do I think sports as a whole tend to be a haven for this, especially amongst the 16-25 male age group? Yes, especially given what we’ve seen in basketball and football (both pros and at the collegiate level).

        But aside from a few isolated incidents, there’s nothing that suggests hockey is prone to this, and that’s what Jen was going for in this article.

      • The author presents terrible evidence (some of which conflicts with her thesis) of isolated incidents over a huge sample size and declares it proof of a widespread problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “blog” or a “criminality thesis.” This formula wouldn’t fly in a high school detention assignment. Worst published piece I’ve read recently on any topic.

  14. How many claims of sexual assault turn out to be bogus?

    You have an example of Petr Nedved in 1996 in which a woman claimed sexual assault in an attempt to shake him down for money.

    By using your standard of evidence, if you found 19 more examples of that, you could write an article titled, “It’s time for female hockey fans culture of making up sexual assault claims to end”. You could then write, “but many of these claims are settled out of court and not reported by the media, imagine what an in-depth study would look like.”

    This article is a disappointing piece from an otherwise exceptional blog. Perhaps if you really believe this to be a pervasive issues, you should do that imaginary in-depth study you speak of.

    • If you limit the scope of discussion to JUST sexual assault and sexual assault convictions, you’re missing the point.

      The POINT is that the problem is systemic. The point is that players are coddled and protected because they are given elevated status. Accusers and prosecutors are heavily pressure to play down the incident as a “one time” act, that could lead to the end of a career if severely punished.

      This isn’t purely an issue of counting cases. Whether the case ends in a criminal conviction is actually besides the point, because what the author is discussing is the way players are treated by peers and superiors. Teammates. Coaches. Teachers. Deans. Parents. Fans…

  15. Ouch! I sense some hurt feelings coming from some hockey loving douche bags that can’t grasp the fact that the truth hurts. It really shouldn’t take an in depth meta-analysis of the issue at hand to see the truth of claim being made. Even a blind, deaf, and dumb person that grew up in canada could tell you that this is the reality of the situation we have created within hockey culture. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in other sports or other cultural realms, I’m just of the belief that in Canada it is worse with hockey because that is our supposed “favourite” sport and if your good at it than your bad behaviour as a young man is irrelevant so long as your still good at hockey. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing wrong with the sport of hockey (it’s not my favorite sport but it is a great sport nonetheless), it is the spoiled, arrogant, elitist, culture of entitlement around it that has to change for it to ever truly grow in popularity.

  16. I was not a fan of this article for 2 reason.

    1. Talk of sexual assault makes me uncomfortable, as I can’t imagine how someone gets off on that.

    2. To me, this article comes across as it’s only a hockey problem. It’s a problem in society in general. I don’t like targeting hockey specifically as many of these offences happen with athletes and non athletes alike. I agree it’s a culture that has to end, but it’s a culture that is prevalent all over.

    I would like to applaud all of you who have commented for and against. Nice, respectable and well thought out arguments with no one (that I’ve seen of yet) immaturely slandering others. The trolling is why I don’t participate in forums too often.

    • Firstly, if talk of sexual assault makes you feel uncomfortable, then good. It means you’re a well-adjusted human being who recognizes abhorrent behavior. But it’s still a hard reality we NEED to talk about. There is a very high chance someone you know has been affected by it.

      Secondly, I’m not sure why you’re surprised that the article talks about sexual assault within the confines of the hockey world. This is a hockey blog. While it is a huge problem in society in general, the idea that this means you can look at instances related to the blog’s usual focus is a little weird to me.

  17. “A culture of sexual assault doesn’t mean every single hockey player is out raping someone right now – it just means that when it does happen it is less likely that justice will be served.” Bingo.

    I have been asserting forever that while the YCP project is most definitely long overdue and is a step in the right direction, unless and until we acknowledge as a society that gender-role stereotypification is still alive and well – and being conditioned to believe that a straight white Judeo-Christian man is the Center of the Universe and has considerably more license to get away with anything and talk his way out of it (or hire a lawyer who can do it for him) remains pervasive – it’s almost like putting the cart before the horse. We need to look long and hard at what happens to guys who work well in team situations/contexts and who then take that relationship to the next deviant level, whether it’s thinking it’s totally okay to kill or denigrate innocent people in a wartime scenario or somehow not being able to comprehend that a gang-bang is rape and rape is never, ever okay. Even if it’s with your buddies and you love them more than anything and vice-versa and one day soon you’re gonna win insert-name-of-championship-trophy-here together and your wives are gonna get their nails and boobs done together and your kids are gonna grow up together and you’ll all drive the same cars and cheat on your wives every off-season when you’re away on boys’ fishing trips together, etc. etc. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s deviant or childish or both. But it’s a head-scratcher. Being silly is one thing but destroying peoples’ lives because you’re boys eh is something entirely different.

    I am not a feminist and as a matter of fact, men are far and away my most favorite people. I just wish we could all play together without waving around our kibbles and bits or pretending we’re at “war” or “dominating” something because perhaps we hate our lives or hate our bodies or we wish we were something or somewhere else. That’s not us, and it’s not the participants either. I have said previously that I am deeply offended whenever athletes use the term “war” to describe their pursuit of a championship. It’s not a “war” – it’s a “game” and they’re damn lucky to be playing it at all. It’s a fight but it’s NOT a war. And that fight switch must be flipped off when you step off the playing field.

    Sports business and culture needs to change. Society needs to change. It’s nothing personal against hockey. This post was very much appreciated and I hope more of its ilk are to follow because it sparks dialogue and prompts feedback.

    • What is feminism to you?

      • To me – and this is to me, as I am not speaking for anybody else – feminism is a highly-organized, carefully researched and deliberate belief system that focuses on what it means to be a woman and advancing/improving women’s lives throughout the world. I am fascinated by feminism and agree with aspects of the movement, but overall I’m just a lot more interested in what it means to be a person – not male or female, just a person – and I find myself noticing how an out-of-control “pack” mentality (such as bullying or gang rape, just to name two examples) does not just affect or apply to women, but to many different segments of the population (children, LGBTs, disabled persons, people who have a different religious/cultural affiliation from the pack). Dangerous, irresponsible and immature behaviors can negatively affect a lot of people, not just women. I prefer not to default to that bias, but that’s just my personal preference.

        I will also admit that Simone de Beauvoir contingent at Concordia annoyed the crap out of me many years ago, as did the Rrriot Girl grunge types in the Pacific Northwest when I lived there.

        Not sure if this adequately answers your question, but I appreciate that you qualified it with “to you.” It’s always going to be a very personal interpretation, I think. The crux of what I was trying to say earlier is, people who play on teams need to be able to distinguish between in-competition situations and “real life” situations. An all-in, pack mentality might prove highly advantageous in the context of competition and training, but in real life people need to be able to think and function on their own and understand when it’s absolutely not appropriate to team up at others’ expense. It seems to be a lot harder for some people – athletes, fans, whoever – to switch between game-time go-time and real life. I think a lot of different factors play a role in this – genetics, biology, cultural conditioning, trauma. And as it has been pointed out, it doesn’t help when the sports culture generally coddles and enables athletes, making excuses for them when they screw up and shielding them from accepting the full consequence of whatever it is they did.

  18. My computer exploded. Apologies. ;)

    As a peace offering, I give you the classic “Power Play: The Great Canadian Hockey Film”…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXeUZJhHmJ8

    This masterpiece of Canadian cinema proves that bumpkin enforcers can be compelled to chase away mean guys insulting hippie protestors in the Eaton Centre. Also, the suit shopping expedition still applies.

  19. A very well researched and informative article. What I do not understand is that how is this a surprise to anyone? You treat someone special and set him or her out front pamper them and show them off(in other words spoil them rotten) all this in the prime of the hormonal rage time and then wonder why they would act out. Since we all like to be associated with success they have a following and parties occur and yet we wonder why things go wrong. The ORGANIZATIONS that deal with athletes need to be way more alert to these situations and as an organization put guidelines and guideline enforcement in place to cut down the opportunities for these assaults to happen.

  20. Thanks Jennifer for this post, it is a critical topic that is (unfortunately) discussed far too infrequently in hockey circles. I think you’re dead on with pretty much the entire article.

    Kudos also to BHS for posting this. It’s a controversial topic that a lot of hockey people, including fans, don’t want to discuss. Glad to see a large and respected hockey blog tackling the issue. Hopefully this post can serve as an opportunity for future dialogue on the issue.

  21. And how many of these “sexual assaults” happen the next day when the girl wakes up and thinks, “shit, I really shouldn’t have drank all that Jack and hooked up with that 4th line mucker even tho he was sooo hot, now they’ll think I’m a slut. RAAAAAAAPPPPEEE.” Coddled and protected? Yea, we hockey players are in some ways. But easy targets for false rape accusations by which a girl can save her image and also get the attention from the case? We most definitely are.

    It’s not a hockey problem, its a society problem. You just hear about it more when it happens with hockey/any sports players because then academics get to stand on their high horse and yell “THIS CULTURE OF ENTITLEMENT MUST CHANGE” and feel good about themselves when they go to sleep at night.

  22. The allegations against Grant Marshall and Todd Harvey were lies. Two out of the four she claimed raped her were not even at the house at the time. It’s not okay to indict these men when the allegations were made because this young woman was angry at being slighted by one of them. These men were innocent and their lives torn apart by the lies told by this woman. She was infatuated with one of them and followed them around Winnipeg for two weeks and was not even allowed in the house and was rejected and turned away from the door. She didn’t even get inside. The police dropped the charges after all of the physical evidence exonerated them (this includes hair, semen and fibers from the sofa) as well as her story continued to change. She also had a history of making allegations. She made allegations against her ex-boyfriend a year before for assault that were also dropped.

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