kid uses racial slur during hockey game and a coach gets suspended…but you won’t believe which coach and why…


1 Response to “kid uses racial slur during hockey game and a coach gets suspended…but you won’t believe which coach and why…”

  1. December 4, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    Coach Greg Walsh pulled his Peterborough minor league hockey team off the ice after an opposing player hurled a racial slur at one of his teenaged team members, and no one apologized.

    Two weeks later, the player who used the taunt and his two coaches are playing again after completing three-day suspensions. But Walsh is watching his house league team from the stands while he serves out an indefinite suspension from the Ontario Minor Hockey League.

    Because of a Hockey Canada rule, Walsh could be barred from coaching for up to a year.

    “I acted in the best interest of the kids I represent as coach of the hockey team, and I’m prepared to accept any punishment that was given, he said. “Whether it’s fair, whether its not … that’s not my decision.”

    Others are less diplomatic. “We’re supposed to be in it for the kids, but we’re just running into hurdles of bureaucracy,” said John Gardner, president of the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

    The incident happened at an October 15 game between two Peterborough Minor Hockey Association teams. McCullum, who plays for Walsh’s Napa Auto Parts team, and the other boy, who plays for the Austin Trophies team, got into a confrontation on the ice. They were sent to the penalty box for two minutes, where “we were chirping each other,” as McCullum remembers.

    Then, the other boy called him “the N-word.” The referee didn’t hear it, so couldn’t impose a penalty. The Austin Trophies coach benched his player part of that period. But when the boy was put back on the ice at the next period without offering an apology, Walsh was furious.

    “In order for us as a team to protect our player from that, we said that we weren’t going to play and we went to the dressing room. Simple as that,” he says.

    Walsh’s players were changing out of their uniforms before the referee’s two-minute window to reconsider was over.

    According to the Hockey Canada rule book, any official responsible for a team withdrawing from the ice and failing to return may be suspended for up to a year. Walsh is currently prevented from coaching until the league has a hearing to determine the extent of his punishment for breaking that rule.

    OMHA president Richard Ropchan said that while Walsh may not be suspended for an entire year, he expects the coach will suffer some penalty.

    “He has breached the regulations, and that’s suspendible, so I don’t know how long it’s going to be.”

    Ropchan agreed the rule is “harsh,” but added “It’s really clear on what happens if you remove a team from a game, for whatever reason.”

    The OMHA merely enforces the rules set by Hockey Canada, he said.

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