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FTB: When an apology isn’t an apology

I was mad last week. It’s even worse now.

2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
You can learn about someone by the company they keep
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Good Morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

It was a great weekend to be a Leafs fan. Auston Matthews scored his 51st goal in 50 games and it made Canadiens fans furious, The Leafs are pulling away from the Bruins and Lightning in the Atlantic Division standings, and getting close to catching the Florida Panthers for the top spot. Matthews is two goals from 60, and one point from 100 as well, and that’s super.

While I enjoyed all of that, I was still getting over losing my local OHL team.

It has been six days since the Niagara IceDogs issued what was one of the most pathetic, meaningless statements regarding ownership showing their whole ass, and no other statement has been made since the text messages were leaked and show that they lied their way through the statement. Let’s break it down, shall we? Now, there is awful language being discussed that’s degrading to women and the LGBT+ community, and I won’t type them out either. If you’re curious, the leaked photo is on twitter.

We are devastated by the sanctions brought down upon us and the Niagara IceDogs by the Ontario Hockey League.

I’m sure you are. I was devastated to find out how awful the people who ran my team are.

Certain media outlets are taking liberties speculating on what was said and about whom.

The Burkes have hated Rick Westhead and TSN since he first reported on the team being sued by former players. They only like media who print nice things about them, and hold access over peoples heads like a bully holding a kids lunch box out of reach. Which explains what is either disappointing silence or approval from anyone with a press pass in Niagara.

To be clear, we were venting in a private hockey staff WhatsApp group chat about the perceived lack of coverage from the league after a win.

Yes, all of this was over the OHL’s Twitter account not highlighting enough goals from the team. If this is how they react over -POSITIVE- coverage, I can not imagine what they say/do to staff when there’s negative.

Unfortunately, we did use profane language, but it was not racial in any sense, nor was it abusive or directed at any IceDogs staff member (male or female) or any players.

The biggest lies right here.

There were three people/groups singled out in these statement.

Someone I assume is from the league office, was called a p—.

They name their own social media coordinator, and call her a c— and f—.

They call their own scouting staff “Horses—”.

It’s very clear that these words and messages were directly at their own staff, who I would assume is on the chat.

They also make sure to let everyone know they aren’t racist, and that’s super. They are however unapologetic about being misogynistic and homophobic. They wear that as a point of pride.

Embarrassed by our text, we deleted the message right away and apologized directly to our female staff for a vulgar slang word that was used. We also apologized to everyone involved in the chat for the language and tone, long before we knew the chat was leaked.

No one on staff has come out to verify this, and we can only assume that this was either not the case or someone complained after they made a flippant statement about these words then as they did last week.

They are also only sorry about one word that was used, and they only say it’s slang. Not sure which is the slang, but it’s not the slurs used that’s for sure. I guess they mean Horses—-?

It should also be noted that in the 14 years that we have worked for the team, we have never had a complaint brought against us for any inappropriate language or behaviour towards any staff or player.

Well, it’s hard to have a complaint made against you in an industry that many are desperate to work in, as well as when you essentially only hire college interns who need your approval for school credit, or those just out of post-secondary where they need a job to pay off student loans and start an independent life. If someone is working for free it’s easier to just shut up and leave than go through a whole process.

Also, another lie, you have had complaints brought up against you by former players.

From the second link:

After being sent down to play in Junior B hockey, a shoulder injury ended his career. He later learned his contract — mandatory for playing in the league — was never forwarded to the OHL for approval while he was playing with the IceDogs, the statement claims. It was later revised by the league, the statement alleges. “Knowing that Sam was injured and could not play, the OHL approved the contract but reduced his tuition package from four years to half a year,” it alleges. His father, Bill Berg, said: “I feel like I let my son down.” “It was me that brokered this deal with the IceDogs in good faith. It was important to my wife and I that he get his education. They agreed to a four-year scholarship once he played a single game in the league.”

There’s a lot of lies in that one sentence. It’s amazing.

Although we are heartbroken, we understand that our positions within the team and the community should have held us to a higher moral standard and for that we are truly sorry.

You only understand this now? You never once thought before getting caught you shouldn’t toss around words meant to dehumanize others? No, you didn’t. When your parents buy you a hockey team to play with, you’re clearly living in a very small, wealthy, isolated, bubble.

We take great pride in the diverse makeup of our team and our alumni, and we have always strived to create a safe and respectful environment both inside the dressing room and the office as well.

Have you? Because multiple incidents of using homophobic language says otherwise.

We are very proud of the team that we’ve put together and have all faith that this team will be competing for the Memorial Cup in 2 years and we wish our players, staff and all IceDogs fans nothing but success.

I don’t know how you can have faith in a team built by a horrible scouting staff (that you hired) but okay, sure.

I have no faith that this was an isolated incident. You don’t just one day wake up and start abusing people and throwing hateful words around. Once again rumours of a sale are flying around as they do every time the team isn’t in first place, but maybe there’s some truth to the matter now? I hope so. The Burke name is, or should be, mud in this city. There are people crying “cancel culture” but hey, they haven’t had their million dollar homes taken away from them, and mommy & daddy are still around the team, so I think they’ll be fine.

What also disappoints me, is the silence from some community leaders about this. Season ticket holders in positions of power who are clearly fine and dandy with what was said about the team, as well as those with large followings who are important figures in the IceDogs community, but hey. You gotta keep that access at all costs, eh?

This isn’t, telling someone to f— off. This isn’t an “I got mad and took it out on the wrong person” kind of thing. You are using words that are meant to make certain groups of people feel like they aren’t people. You are using words that make toes curl, and stomachs clench, and people know they aren’t welcome around you. You attacked women, you attacked my family, you attacked me.

I have given you countless hours of my time volunteering, writing, promoting the team. I have given you thousands of dollars for shirts, jerseys, memorabilia, fundraisers, and now I know how exactly you thought about me this whole time. My heart swelled with pride the day it was announce you would be the first CHL team to host a Pride night and wear a special jersey. I wear those socks every time I play shinny, to keep that connection. Now I know it was all a lie, some marketing, and meant nothing.

You’re liars. You spread hate. You’re disappointing.

Thank you all for listening to me rant some more, but here is some other news that should be a bit more upbeat.

Back to Excited has a new episode, and talk about how great Auston Matthews is.

Shane Wright is a pretty good hockey player.

Okay, hear me out. If the Canucks and Habs don’t keep the coaches that the players love to play for, why don’t the Leafs hire Boudreau and St. Louis as assistants, so they can have fun here while watching dummies make dumb choices?

Even the Marlies fourth liners are lighting things up.

There’s no Leafs game tonight, but they host the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night and you can watch it on TSN4. There will be a lot more TSN games now that the Blue Jays season has started.

Enjoy your day everyone! I hope you have a great one!