June 27, 2012
A Vancouver-area minor hockey coach just earned a spot in the Bad Winner Hall of Fame — and criminal charges are coming in connection with an incident where an opposing 13-year-old player broke his wrist after he was tripped during the post-game handshake line.
It has to be seen to be believed. On Saturday afternoon, the UBC Hornets beat the Richmond Steel 5-4 to win the championship of the University of British Columbia spring hockey line. As the teams proceeded through the handshake line, the Hornets coach stuck his foot out, causing two young boys to topple like dominoes, with one of them breaking his wrist. Outrage spread throughout Canada and the U.S.; on Thursday, it was reported that RCMP will recommend that the coach be charged with assault.
From the Vancouver Province:
"I don't ever want to see that coach on a bench behind kids ever again," said Richmond Steel team manager Tammy Hohlweg of the man coaching the Hornets, who won Saturday's game 5-4. "It's just horrible that a coach would go after a child like that and what's even more horrible is that team won.
"We were the losing team and that guy still went after our kid."
The footage, shot by a parent of a Steel player, shows the two teams preparing to shake hands following the game at UBC's Thunderbird Arena. The coach, wearing a black jacket and beige pants, can be seen moving down the line before sticking out his right foot.
A player in a blue Steel jersey is then seen falling, causing a second player to go down as well. (Vancouver Province)
In a potential criminal case, it's usually important not to make a snap judgement, wait until the facts are in, yadda-yadda-yadda. The evidence is rather damning. The coach's explanation was that he slipped while walking on the ice in street shoes, but honestly, experienced coaches and trainers do not just lose their balance while walking on the ice. Also, if he slipped, wouldn't he have rushed over to apologize instead of pointing his finger toward the fallen players in a NFL-style taunt? That image might not help with the exoneration.
Witnesses say the coach claimed he had slipped on the ice, but Hohlweg says his story doesn't hold water.
"Actually seeing it is horrifying," she said after reviewing video of the fall. "He should not be allowed around kids. No more coaching for this coach."
"If a coach is like that, the kids will feed off that — the kids will react and do that too.." (CTV BC)
It's also compounded by the UBC Hornets won the game to take the league championship. Those boys were probably pretty happy to win a championship that they would be able to savour for the 10 days to two weeks of summer they get before their next hockey season starts. Instead of that being the focus, their coach made himself the centre of attention by doing something idiotic. Seriously, what adult trips a 13-year-old kid?
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.