Players battle for the puck during the Ice Hockey World Championships Group A match between Russia and Denmark, in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, May 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev

Hockey players in PEI warned of season suspensions for online trash talk

Any minor league player who violates social media policy will be suspended for rest of season

The governing body for organized hockey in Prince Edward Island is taking a tough stance on the issue of online harassment.

Hockey PEI has sent a letter to several minor leagues warning that any players who violate the organization’s social media policy will be suspended for the rest of the season.

“We have seen repeated behaviour in violation of the social media policy — threats, derogatory behaviour such as pictures, and that sort of thing,” executive director Geoff Kowalski said in an interview.

“We’ve continuously warned members, and we’ve warned teams. We want to get a harsher message across that this stuff is not acceptable. Hopefully our members will realize the impact that it has — not only on them as individuals, but also the people around them.”

Kowalski would not talk about any specific incidents, and said there have been no issues since the new penalty was announced last week.

He said the online activity has more to do with society than hockey, but it’s up to organizers to react to it.

“It’s so convenient for kids to communicate with each other now. In the past in hockey, you might see a player on a team every few weeks and you have time to let the feud stay on the ice. Now they’re able to message each other the second they’re off the ice,” he said.

He said Hockey PEI will look to provide some education as a way to help prevent such harassment in the future.

The issue came up for discussion when hockey executives from Atlantic Canada met last week in St. John’s, N.L.

Nic Jansen, executive director of Hockey New Brunswick, said incidents in his province are examined on a case-by-case basis, and punishments range from warnings to suspensions.

“Essentially every player … has access to social media accounts, whether it be Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I’d say the majority of the members are aware of the risks involved and act professionally and use proper judgement, and then there are a few that post things they shouldn’t,” Jansen said.

READ MORE: 13-year-old B.C. hockey player quits team over bullying

“I think the key is educating the membership of the risks involved of posting inappropriate things on social media,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emergency crews on scene at Oak Bay coffee shop

Police asking public to avoid the area

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Ladysmith man arrested in Saanich after towed sawmill draws attention

Police located the man thanks to social media and a keen-eyed witness

Vacuum sparks fire in Fernwood basement

Crews extinguish small fire in Empress Avenue home

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Most Read