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Hockey Calgary investigating ‘disturbing’ locker-room videos of player passing out, fighting

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Hockey Calgary has launched an investigation after two videos from inside a minor hockey locker room showed what the organization called "disturbing" incidents. Deb Matejicka reports. Warning: disturbing content – Oct 26, 2020

WARNING: This story contains disturbing content.

Hockey Calgary has launched an investigation after two videos from inside a minor hockey locker room showed what the organization called “disturbing’’ incidents.

Kevin Kobelka, executive director of Hockey Calgary, said the pair of videos were taken on Oct. 19 at the Crowchild Twin Arena and involved an under-15 division from the Northwest Warriors Association.

The first video shows a young player hunched over, seemingly holding his breath while others cheer him on.

Two boys push him up against the wall while a third pours water on his head before he collapses.

While on the floor, he appears to have a short seizure before regaining consciousness and then stands back up to catch his breath.

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Kobelka said the second video, which shows players fighting in helmets and gloves, was taken the same night and involved the same players.

“We never like to see things like this,” said Kobelka on Sunday. “Hockey Calgary does not tolerate that. The Northwest Warriors do not tolerate that. It is something we never want to see in the hockey world.”

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Kobelka said that all players and coaches in the cohort in the arena that night have had their playing privileges removed as the investigation continues.

“[Hockey Calgary] is going to investigate thoroughly,” said Kobelka.

“There’ll be interviews, there will be discussions, and we will get to the bottom of it.”

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Questions have been raised about if there were any parents or coaches present in the room when the incidents took place. Kobelka said that will be part of the investigation.

“Our guidelines are that the coaches are to be in and around the dressing room vicinity and monitoring the behaviour [of players],” said Kobelka. “It appears that was not going on.”

Kobelka said Hockey Calgary is looking to conclude the investigation within a week and wouldn’t speculate on possible repercussions.

The Northwest Warriors did not respond to a request for comment, and Kobelka said all communication will be coming from Hockey Calgary.

Parents react

Several parents with children in various associations and different age groups said that they had already seen the videos.

Jenny Haymour said she will definitely be having a conversation with her kids who play hockey.

“[The video] is extremely scary. I have a daughter that suffers from seizures, and to see that these children are participating in these acts, it’s terrifying,” said Haymour on Sunday.
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Craig Slozka, who has been involved in minor hockey for years, said more conversations about this behaviour need to happen at every level, from players to the association.

“You hope your kid doesn’t have to go through it,” said Slozka. “I think that’s on the coaches and the associations to talk to their players and their families, and make sure that this doesn’t happen going forward.”