A youth hockey coach in Colorado has been fired after video emerged of his shocking, obscenity-laced “pep talk” to a locker room full of young boys.
The video, which appears to have been recorded clandestinely by a player, was taken inside the locker room of the Littleton Hockey Association‘s Bantam A Blacks hockey team in Littleton, CO.
In the video, the coach, giving what seems to be a vulgar pre-game pep talk, addresses the team of 13- and 14-year-old boys.
“I wanna see you sticking your hands up these guys (expletive) and workin’ ‘em like a (expletive) puppet!” the coach screams.
He then turns his attention to their opponent, Green Mountain Falls, imploring the team to “(Expletive) Green Mountain! (Expletive) their coaches! (Expletive) their wives!”
At one point, the coach is seen grabbing the team’s goaltender by the collar, screaming at him to “beat up Green Mountain!” As his pre-game speech escalates in both volume and vulgarity, several team members can be heard sheepishly reminding him that the other team can hear his comments through the dressing room wall – to which he replies he “doesn’t care.”
It is not clear when the video was recorded, however it came to light after it was shared to the Spittin’ Chiclets Facebook page on November 3.
In a statement to Global News, George Stieduhar, President of the Littleton Hockey Association, confirmed the video’s veracity and said the coach has been terminated from his position.
“We have removed the assistant coach from the team and from the association,” Stieduhar said in a statement to Global News. “Littleton Hockey Association was established in 1963, and for 54 years we take pride in providing a safe place for children to learn and enjoy playing the sport of ice hockey.”
“This unfortunate event is not a representation of our association and out of respect for the families and the sport we are diligently working to correct the situation and further educate to prevent anything like this in the future.”
Sports news outlet Deadspin acquired a copy of an email, sent out to the parents of league members by Director of Hockey Operations Brian TenEyck, in which he says the league first became aware of the incident in October after several people complained about comments they had overheard the coach make while listening from outside the dressing room.
“Upon review, I immediately suspended the assistant coach,” TenEyck’s email reads, according to Deadspin. “He was very embarrassed and issued a letter of apology to the opposing team and apologized to his team.”
“It was not until I witnessed the video did the severity of the situation become apparent.”
A spokesperson for Hockey Canada says the organization is committed to avoiding situations like this in youth hockey dressing rooms in this country.
“Hockey Canada’s mission is to lead, develop, and promote positive hockey experiences,” Lisa Dornan, Communications Director for Hockey Canada, told Global News. “As such, the organization has partnered with the Respect Group to develop modules for everyone in the game – from parents, to players, to coaches, to officials – that fall under our ‘Respect in Sport’ training requirements.”
Respect in Sport is an online training course and resource with modules for coaches and parents, designed to enable “sport and community organizations to create a safer, more ethical environment” by promoting anti-abuse, anti-bullying, and mental health awareness training for coaches, parents, and volunteers.
According to Hockey Canada, some 160,000 coaches are “Respect Certified” along with over 90,000 parents.