Most organizations have some kind of policy; some kind of set of values they share with their followers to let them know who they are and what they stand for. On-ice product aside, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been very vocal, especially in the last two years, regarding the kinds of messages they want to have representing their organizations, and the kinds of people they want to be a part of it.

Kyle Dubas spoke to Sportsnet’s Donnovan Bennet this past February where he was asked what does the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ mean to him. Here is what Dubas said:

It means the realization that it’s not just enough to say, ‘I’m not racist,’ and that we have to be doing more openly to help Black, Indigenous, really anybody in our lives and in our community that faces any type of systemic barriers, systemic racism or injustice.

That quote came to mind when the Toronto Marlies announced the hiring of Dusty Imoo given his open likes of racist, transphobic, and anti-vaccine takes and unfortunately it gets worse from there. That same Dubas quote came to mind again when Brendan Shanahan’s comment was released reversing the Imoo hiring.

Marlies add Dusty Imoo as goaltending coach

Many may focus on the single word “mistake” in his statement. It was a mistake, a damaging mistake that surely left a lot of people hurt, confused, and uncared for. However, focusing on a single word isn’t even the half of it.


The capitalized words are emotional for me. Organizations make mistakes. Organizations have protocols. But unfortunately in this league, it’s very common for an organization to admit they made a mistake that went against their protocols or beliefs, yet refuse to reverse said mistake if possible. And some go back on a pledge completely and choose to ignore it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs did that on Tuesday, August 10th 2021 at 4:22 PM.

Words are words until they become actions. Dusty Imoo shouldn’t have been hired. Yet the fact that the Leafs reversed their decision instead of saying something like, “We are committed to working and helping Dusty become a better person,” proves that they believe in the things they say.

That is how you handle a mistake as an organization. You take responsibility and you correct it, and for that, I say thank you.

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The Future!