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

Wolf Creek Public Schools answers questions about home-based learning

WCPS to roll out home-based learning details this week, March 30 to April 3

LACOMBE EXPRESS: A Message From the Publisher

In good times and bad the Lacombe Express is here to provide valuable, trustworthy information

Lacombe Police respond to multiple incidents

LPS respond to thefts, outstanding warrants

10-15 cm of snow expected before Tuesday across Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement with the possibility of a snowfall warning

Non-profits that are helping people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funding

Red Deer and District FCSS can draw from a provincial pot of $30 million

VIDEO: 17 COVID-19 cases in central Alberta

March 23 update from Dr. Hinshaw

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

City at centre of China’s virus outbreak gradually revives

“After two months trapped at home, I want to jump. I want to revenge shop.”

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown

Spain becomes the third country to surpass China in infections

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hold press conference

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Most Read