Opinion: Windsor Minor Hockey Didn’t Do Enough

WMHA protesters

Protesters outside the WMHA annual general meeting – Photo from Facebook / Michael Malott

Windsor Minor Hockey Association president Dean Lapierre is back. He was reinstated this week as president of the organization, only a few months removed from openly calling Canadian women who participated in the Women’s March on Washington “dumb bitches.”

“Any of those CANADIAN women who wanted to protest the President of the USA and got turned around.Good u dumb bitches. Worry about your own Country CANADA. And your protesting what?,” he wrote on Facebook in January.

This week, Lapierre and the Windsor Minor Hockey Association released an apology letter, if you can accurately call it that, which he read at the organization’s annual general meeting with protesters outside. His letter, and comments to other media read more as a lesson of what not to post on social media, rather than a lesson of respecting women.

He states in the letter that “I now have an appreciation of people’s perspectives and
opinions,” but not that he has changed his own perspectives or opinions on the value of equality. He says that he believes “everyone deserves the right to be treated with respect, not only on social media but anywhere else,” but how has he demonstrated this respect?

One of the most glaring omissions from the apology letter was the mention of women. The letter does not mention the fact that his original comment was directed at women, who were doing nothing more than demonstrating an accepted democratic right, and demanding equality on the basis of gender.

To the CBC this week he said “I took the hit, I did the time. I used the wrong words. If they wanted to march I should have left it alone.” Who are “they” Mr. Lapierre? If we do a quick Google search of the word “they,” it gives a simple definition as a term “used to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified.” How did Mr. Lapierre previous mention women?

He continued with the CBC by saying “The most important thing I learned is anything you put on the Internet stays there.”

That was the most important thing learned? What you say on social media stays there? Not that you shouldn’t speak about people in a derogatory way, not to not use sexist and minsogynst language?

Windsor Minor Hockey Association and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association missed the mark. They handed out a two-minute minor when they should have handed out a lifetime ban.

Mr. Lapierre did serve the punishment he was handed, he admitted his mistake, and did everything asked of him. That doesn’t mean the organizations in charge should have reinstated him to this position.

The Windsor Minor Hockey Association, and OMHA failed to protect the youth involved in this organization, and failed to show that character development, respect, and equality are of value in youth sport.

WMHA and the OMHA sent the clear message, that it doesn’t matter how you treat others, or what you say, as long as you follow it up with a kind of sort of apology, that more apologizes for how others took it. And that as long as you appreciate that others have views, it doesn’t matter what your own beliefs are.

As a protestor sign stated, is he and the organization sorry for the action, or for getting caught? If it’s the latter, then the WMHA is telling their youth to say what you want, do what you want, hurt others, demean…just don’t get caught. And if you do, take a vacation, don’t worry, and you’ll be back soon.

  1. Well said!!!! The OMHA and Windsor Minor Hockey – you failed. End of story.

    Reply

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