WARNING: This story accommodates disburbing particulars
The Tampa Bay Lightning suspended defenceman Ian Cole pending an investigation into allegations made on social media that he sexually abused a lady when she was a minor.
The Lightning stated Sunday night time they had been totally cooperating with the NHL on an investigation and had been making the choice to droop Cole till they collect extra particulars. It’s the most recent off-ice scandal to rock hockey and convey the game’s tradition into query.
“Our organization takes these allegations very seriously,” the workforce stated in an announcement. “No members of the group, together with gamers, will remark additional presently.”
Cole, in an announcement despatched by agent Kevin Magnuson, stated he fully denies the allegations and can cooperate with the league, workforce and their authorized departments within the forthcoming investigation.
“I take the allegations made against me today in an anonymous tweet very seriously,” Cole stated. “I look forward to clearing my name and demonstrating to the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning that these allegations are unfounded.”
Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly informed The Associated Press earlier Sunday the league had launched an investigation. Daly added the league had no prior information of the allegations till they had been posted on social media.
Cole’s agent didn’t instantly reply to a number of messages searching for remark.
Among the allegations posted anonymously to Twitter on Friday by an account created final month, the individual stated Cole pressured her into having intercourse a number of instances when she was a minor after he had reached the NHL.
In the posting, the individual accused Cole of emotional and sexual abuse, and stated the NHL should maintain itself and its gamers accountable for creating an setting of misogynistic and predatory behaviour.
The 33-year-old Cole made his NHL debut with St. Louis in 2010 and performed 5 seasons for the Blues earlier than being traded to Pittsburgh. It was not clear the place he was taking part in when the individual stated Cole sexually abused and groomed her.
Cole, a Michigan native, has performed 780 regular-season and playoff video games with St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Colorado, Minnesota and Carolina. He signed a US$3 million, one-year contract with Tampa Bay in July.
The investigation of Cole comes because the NHL is within the midst of reviewing allegations made by lady who stated she was sexually assaulted by eight members of the Canada’s world junior workforce at a gala in 2018. News surfaced earlier this 12 months Hockey Canada settled a lawsuit with the lady. Several gamers from that workforce at the moment play within the NHL.
Talking concerning the Hockey Canada scenario, Commissioner Gary Bettman in July stated he didn’t suppose hockey has a tradition downside.
“I think there are problems that are experienced in all sports and throughout society that are unacceptable and I don’t think we’re any different in that regard than anybody else and I certainly don’t think that’s an issue at the NHL level,” Bettman stated on the time. “I can’t speak necessarily to the other levels of hockey. Not to suggest it makes it OK, but there were widely reported other incidents in other sports and conduct that’s unacceptable. I want to hold our game to a higher standard.”