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Nike permanently ends Hockey Canada sponsorship amid sex assault scandal

Click to play video: 'Hockey Canada’s entire senior leadership exits over sexual abuse controversy'
Hockey Canada’s entire senior leadership exits over sexual abuse controversy
WATCH - Hockey Canada's entire senior leadership exits over sexual abuse controversy – Oct 11, 2022

Nike has permanently ended its sponsorship of Hockey Canada as the national sports body continues to deal with the fallout over its handling of alleged sexual assaults.

A spokesperson with the international sportswear brand told Global News in a statement Monday it had dropped ties with the organization.

Nike had put its sponsorship with Hockey Canada on pause in October, joining several companies that have ended sponsorship ties as reports surfaced about the organization and how it dealt with past sexual assault allegations.

Click to play video: 'Hockey Canada interim board chair resigns amid sex scandal'
Hockey Canada interim board chair resigns amid sex scandal

Scandal surrounded Hockey Canada last fall when media reports surfaced the organization had paid out a substantial legal settlement after allegations eight members of its 2018 men’s world junior team sexually assaulted a woman.

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The organization’s leadership resisted calls for change, and eventually resigned as pressure from sponsors and the public mounted.

“Nike is no longer a sponsor of Hockey Canada,” the spokesperson told Global News.

“We will continue to provide on-ice product for Hockey Canada athletes as part of our partnership with the International Ice Hockey Federation, but our individual partnership with the federation has ended.”

Click to play video: 'Hockey Canada brass should leave before they ‘burn it to the ground,’ minister says'
Hockey Canada brass should leave before they ‘burn it to the ground,’ minister says

Hockey Canada had said previously that Nike was one of four premier marketing partners, and had been in that role since 1999.

The organization has been trying to rebuild its image ever since news of the sex assault scandal broke last year.

On July 4, Hockey Canada named former Curling Canada head Katherine Henderson as its new president and chief executive officer.

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“Katherine has the track record and experience to lead the ongoing transformation of Hockey Canada,” federation board chair Hugh L. Fraser said in a statement at the time.

“With her at the helm we are confident that we will continue to take the steps necessary to ensure hockey is a safe and inclusive sport and that Hockey Canada benefits from best-in-class governance.”

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MPs grill Hockey Canada execs over handling of sex abuse claims

Henderson took over from Scott Smith, who stepped down from the role in October along with the entire board of directors and interim board chair Andrea Skinner.

“The future of hockey is limitless. As a winter sport nation, with a long tradition in our ice and snow sports, playing and watching hockey is undeniably a part of who we are as Canadians,” Henderson said in a news release earlier this month.

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“I am looking forward to working with our board and staff, our athletes, our members and local associations, our corporate and hockey partners, and our fans and participants to ensure that all Canadians have a personal hockey experience that is right for them.”

— with files from The Associated Press

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