The days of Hazing being an acceptable practice in hockey or in life are long behind us.
We have seen the effects of hazing on young boys and girls. In some instances these types of behaviors have led to extreme violence and even suicide.
USA Hockey has the Safesport program which was put together to address and establish policy for:
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Bullying, Threats and Harassment
While we have heard of the aggressive nature that Law Enforcement has used when dealing with sexual and physical abuse of players by coaches and other people in a position of authority, we do not see or hear about the same position being taken with bullies and hazing participants.
A few days ago, a colleague sent me a photo of a player who had his head shaved in various places. This was not a case where the entire group of rookies went and got short hair cuts. This was a case where one player was singled out, and was forced into a humiliating situation by his team mates.
That is the simplest definition of hazing.
Unfortunately even though the team owner, coaches and even some parents are aware of the incident, no one has done anything about it. Why? Apparently the victim is not the most popular player on the team. Yes, another case of popularity being a determining factor on a team. It doesn’t just influence ice time any more, it may influence player safety and how the player is valued on the team.
Imagine if this were your child?!
Policy only works when people in positions of authority have the character to enforce policy. When Owners and Coaches do not have the character within them to enforce these policies, how can we ever expect the young men they are teaching to develop the right values on and off the ice?
TJHN encourages anyone who knows of instances of Hazing to make those instances known to league administration and USA Hockey. TJHN has developed our own policy for this based upon the information we were provided.
TJHN will publicly out any team or league that receives hazing complaints and fails to act on those complaints from this point forward. TJHN will publish photos sent and any other information provided to ensure that all parents are aware of the organizations that fail to act.
Who wants to be first?
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher