Another banner day for hockey, as Tampa Bay’s Ian Cole was accused of grooming a minor and sexual assault by an anonymous person on Twitter. The Lightning have suspended Cole pending their own investigation and one conducted by the NHL.
Here’s how the Lightning responded:
“Our organization takes these allegations very seriously,” the team’s statement read. “While we continue to gather more details, we have decided to suspend Ian Cole pending the results of an investigation. No members of the organization, including players, will comment further at this time.”
Cole denied the allegations in a statement released by his agent, saying he will cooperate with the investigation. “I take the allegations made against me today in an anonymous tweet very seriously,’’ Cole’s statement read. “I look forward to clearing my name and demonstrating to the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning that these allegations are unfounded.’’
I’ll spare all of us the ins and outs of the complications and difficulty of investigating sexual assault and power dynamics and our society’s leanings. What I will be watching, though sadly will almost certainly never get an answer, is that this woman’s allegation includes describing former teammates of Cole admitting to Cole bragging about his accused horrific actions. It would only take time for the NHL and/or the Lightning to talk to anyone who has played with Cole over his career. If her allegations are substantiated, wouldn’t it be interesting to see if his former, or current teammates, would still abide by the oldest hockey code, and the one that leads to almost all of the sport’s ingrained rot, which is anything in the dressing room stays there and team over all. Or would just one of them decide that the road to meaningful change means going above and beyond that code, and that to protect women in the future means doing the right thing and corroborating this woman’s story? How much does this code mean to guys who don’t play with Cole anymore? To those who still do? What are their priorities now after “Hockey Canada Summer?” Would be nice to find out.
Original source here
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