An independent committee, formed by the Greater Toronto Hockey League, has found racism and discrimination do exist in the GTHL and that there is a need to put greater efforts into promoting a culture of acceptance and inclusivity.
The committee identified 44 recommendations that the GTHL may look to make in order to bring change in relation to racism and discrimination.
Included in these recommendations were the reviewing of incident reports where racial slurs were alleged to have been used but not heard, the elimination of ethnic or stereotypical mascots or imagery and the implementation of a BIPOC coaching mentorship program, as well as to improve opportunities for women to work and participate in the league.
These recommendations will be turned into action by the GTHL.
The league has now created a formal investigative process by a third party to probe all accusations of discrimination, including ones that occur in-game and go undetected by an on-ice official and, as of June 1, the use of any Indigenous names and logos will be banned – meaning a team such as the Mississauga Reps, whose logo is similar to that of the Chicago Blackhawks, will need to find new imagery.
According to the league, despite the work it acknowledges needs to be done, the committee said the GTHL “was perceived to create a welcoming culture that takes issues of racism and discrimination seriously with education and training programs in place.”