The Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association (FMMHA) has issued a press release, formally apologizing for their response to a video of the Midget A Jr. Oil Barons that went viral and was taken wildly out of context.
The video depicts the players dancing to a popular song, Electric Pow Wow Drum by Indigenous band, A Tribe Called Red.
It was viewed on social media over 240k times and generated hate comments and death threats on the team and the boys in the video for being disrespectful.
As a result the family of the team captain had to ask a lawyer for assistance as they issued a statement outlining that the boys in the video were Indigenous and were reflecting their own culture.
Days after the video was posted the family had asked the FMMHA to issue a retraction.
Due to the backlash the team decided to forfeited the remaining games of their season.
Now, five months later, the league admitted that they did not do a full inquiry into the situation before they responded and that the FMMHA board recognizes the negativity it has caused the players.
“The FMMHA values, above all, the physical, mental, and emotional health of all players, and the primary goal is always to ensure players have the most positive experience possible,” said Travis Galenzoski, FMMHA President.
The league has identified gaps in their policies and procures and has committed to improving them by November 1, 2019.