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Nike suspending sponsorship relationship with Hockey Canada

All four of Hockey Canada’s premier partners — Nike, Imperial Oil, Telus and Tim Hortons — have now either stopped or suspended their support of the organization.
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Hockey Canada logo. (hockeycanada.ca)

Nike says it is suspending its relationship with Hockey Canada and pausing its support of the sport’s governing body in Canada.

Nike sent a statement to Sportsnet on Friday. Oct. 7. 

“Nike believes sport should create a safe, supportive environment for all athletes. We’re deeply concerned by the ongoing reports around Hockey Canada. We believe significant and substantive action is required to support athletes and transform hockey for future generations,” the statement says.

“After further review of Hockey Canada’s response, we’ve suspended our relationship with the federation and paused our support. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and await more information regarding Hockey Canada’s actions to address the findings in these investigations and create a safe environment for all athletes.”

All four of Hockey Canada’s premier partners — Nike, Imperial Oil, Telus and Tim Hortons — have now either stopped or suspended their support of the organization.

Earlier today, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Moncton, N.B. Mayor Dawn Arnold put out a joint statement calling for change in Hockey Canada before the World Junior Championship in those cities starts on Dec. 26.

“We believe we have the local expertise and experience to welcome the world’s best young hockey players to our cities, but we are deeply concerned about Hockey Canada’s lack of judgement and professionalism. We look for meaningful changes within Hockey Canada prior to the World Junior Championship taking place in our cities,” the statement said.

Many sponsors and provincial hockey associations have been demanding changes from Hockey Canada this week.

Hockey Canada has been under intense scrutiny since May, when it was revealed an undisclosed settlement had been paid to a woman who alleged in a $3.55-million lawsuit she was sexually assaulted by eight players — including members of the country’s world junior team — after a 2018 gala in London, Ont.

Allegations of gang sexual assault involving the 2003 world junior team emerged in July. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

It has also been revealed that Hockey Canada kept a fund partly maintained by minor hockey registration fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual assault and abuse claims.

In response, Hockey Ontario, Hockey Québec and Hockey Nova Scotia have distanced themselves from the national governing body over the past week.

With files from the Canadian Press. 

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