The Fort McMurry Midget ‘A’ Junior Oil Barons have forfeited the remainder of the season after a video surfaced showing the players, some of which are indigenous dancing to the song Electric Pow Wow Drum by A Tribe Called Red.
“The video showed a few team members, some of them Indigenous, engaging in a motivational dance,” some of the parents said in a statement on Wednesday. “This was not intended as a derogatory or racist act.”
Only 3 hours after the video was released the hockey association released a statement saying it was “devastated” by the actions of the players, calling the video disrespectful.
Association president Travis Galenzoski said in the statement.”It is wrong and will not be tolerated. The display of ignorance is sad and gravely unfortunate, These players will know how deeply impactful their wrong actions are.” but that statement has since been removed from social media.
The parents said the association failed to contact anyone from the team before the statement was released causing a lack of facts in the associations statement.
“This action, coupled with the failure to contact any staff member on the video about the video, demonstrated a lack of thorough investigation to the facts of the video and breached the fiduciary duty it owes to its players in looking after their safety and best interests.”
The association also released the team name which allowed people to track down the players involved and publish personal information as well as their entire upcoming schedule.
The players, who are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old have received death threats as well as humiliating and degrading comments which got to the point one of the players had to have a police presence. As a result the team has dropped out of the remainder of the season, costing them a $2,100 penalty. The team had a total of 6 games remaining in the season, two of which were scheduled to take place over this weekend but they will still be participating in the provincial play-downs to end the season on a more positive note.