by Hockey PEI Communications // @HockeyPEI | Jan 12th, 2022
HOCKEY PEI STATEMENT – JANUARY 12TH, 2022
On December 17, an act of racism occurred in a game between the Sherwood Metros and Kensington Vipers. Hockey PEI believes fundamentally that racism and discrimination of any form have no place in the game, and we acknowledge and express our sincere regret for errors that were made in our handling of the incident.
This incident has made us realize that our inclusivity and anti-harassment guidelines for officials, teams, players and their families do not go far enough to protect those that they should. We are committed to change not only the guidelines of the game on the Island, but the culture as well.
Within our existing rules, Hockey PEI issued a suspension to the player who used the racist remark, however, this suspension was not proportionate to the act that was committed and has been increased to five games. We acknowledge the initial error in judgement and express our deepest apologies to the victim.
Secondly, Keegan Mitchell, the young man who defended his teammate, was suspended indefinitely for violating Hockey PEI’s social media policy. Hockey PEI is repealing this suspension effective immediately. As an organization and as individuals, we need to take a stand against racism and help make the hockey environment a safe and welcoming place for everyone. We commend Keegan for speaking up for what was right and shining a spotlight on our missteps around this tragic incident.
Hockey PEI has a zero-tolerance policy for racism, and the comments that were made on December 17 have no place in hockey or our community. We applaud both teams and the game officials for adhering to our protocols to ensure this incident was properly documented and reported to Hockey PEI.
Hockey PEI recognizes the impact that racism can have in hockey, and on individuals, families, teams and the community as a whole. We take ownership of the fact that this situation should have been handled better, and will use this as a learning experience while continuing to make the game accessible, inclusive and safe for any individual that participates. To start, we will begin by conducting a thorough review of the current guidelines. Our board is committed to examining our rules and enforcement strategies and implementing strict and long-term updates to help prevent any similar situations from occurring in the future. We can and will do better.
Manager, Hockey Operations & Communications