Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson has never faced abuse during the initiation, but he is aware that outbursts have occurred.
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“We’ve all heard stories like that, but I’ve never had to deal with that,” he told the media hours before confronting the Canadian. There is simply no place for bullying. »
Johnson recalls that freshmen had to carry their teammates’ gear or water, nothing humiliating.
“If you force someone to do something they don’t want them to do, you have a problem,” said the former Spokane Chiefs of the Western Junior Hockey League.
When defense attorney Connor Murphy read the testimonies of former hockey players who had experienced abuse, including sexual assault, during the inauguration, he was troubled.
“It’s sad to hear guys have gone through this. It’s a trauma that can haunt you for a lifetime. I hope that there are precautions today and that the teams take it seriously. They are children, teenagers. These are things that should never happen, that shouldn’t be hidden and should come out years later,” the Blackhawks No. 5 said.
Sing and bring water
For his part, Hawks head coach Luke Richardson never experienced anything degrading as a young athlete, particularly with the Petes of Peterborough of the Ontario Junior League.
“We had fun. We had to stand on the table at school dinner and sing McDonald’s songs… Funny stuff, said the Canadian’s ex-teacher. Our team stayed in control. We had good people in our organization. We could fooling around, but we stayed on track. »
“I was a little boy, I didn’t live at home anymore, but I had the chance to play on a team where there was a healthy culture,” Richardson added. You need to control the actions of young people. You can create trauma when you push the boundaries. I know the junior leagues have better control today. Young people need to play in a safe environment. »
– With the collaboration of Jean-François Chaumont