Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic gold medallist and Toronto Maple Leafs assistant common supervisor, stated Hockey Canada wants a leadership change following the group’s resistance to handle its dealing with of alleged sexual assaults.
“When you make a mistake you should own up to it and you should make change and that’s what we need, is change,” Wickenheiser stated whereas talking to reporters after her induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday evening in Toronto.
“I spent 23 years of my life around Hockey Canada and it’s beyond disappointing and disgraceful what I’ve seen.”
Her remarks observe experiences that Hockey Canada was utilizing registration charges to assist pay for a multimillion-dollar settlement to handle sexual assault allegations.
Since then, a slew of Hockey Canada’s company backers, together with Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons, have pulled their sponsorship for the group whereas its leadership continues to firmly reject the concept of stepping down.
Earlier this week, Hockey Canada president and chief govt officer Scott Smith stated he wouldn’t resign, however as an alternative, would tackle “this responsibility for change.”
“We need a fresh start for sure,” Wickenheiser stated.
“We need leadership that is going to be open minded, transparent and insightful. I think right now, there is a lack of insight into what the rest of the country is feeling about what’s going on.”
Wickenheiser stated it’s taken some time for her to course of the information after spending greater than 20 years working alongside the group. But nonetheless, she stated she is aware of one factor for positive.
“Hockey in this country, regardless of what happens in the board rooms, it’s the grassroots, it’s the moms and dads, the volunteers, the Zambonis and cafeteria’s and the rink that keep hockey going,” she stated.
“Regardless of what’s happening in the board rooms, the lights will always be on in rinks across this country, and hockey will go on. It’s much bigger than any person or organization.”