The parent of a junior hockey hazing victim said her son was forced to walk around the team locker room with a set of water bottles tied to his scrotum, the Free Press has learned.
"They made him walk around the dressing room three times," the mother of the former member of the Neepawa Natives Manitoba Junior Hockey League team said. "And the other players did their thing. They threw towels on the bottles for extra weight."
The mother was reluctant to divulge further details of the hazing incident, saying "There’s lots of different types of hazing. They’re all really bad."
The confirmation follows on the heels of a league investigation that on Tuesday resulted in the levelling against the team of a $5,000 fine, along with the suspension of 16 players, the head coach and assistant coach. The Neepawa RCMP are also investigating the incident, which occurred in late September.
MJHL commissioner Kim Davis refused on Tuesday to say if the hazing was sexual but confirmed that the incident in question, which involved five "victims," fell under the definition of an initiation practice designed to "humiliate, demean, degrade and disgrace" players against their consent.
"I don’t think it’s useful at all (to cite specifics of the hazing)," Davis added. "But it’s safe to reiterate in reviewing the situation.... we clearly thought the incident to be inappropriate and unacceptable."
The parent also confirmed that four other players were forced to perform similar acts. Her son, 15, has since quit the team and has yet to join another club. The parents notified the club of the incident after their son revealed the details a few days after the hazing occurred.
Both Davis and Hockey Manitoba executive director Peter Woods called the player’s decision to step forward "brave and bold." They indicated that their organizations would assist the player in finding a new team.
Along with the fine -- the highest issued in Davis’s decade-long tenure -- the Natives head coach and general manager Bryant Perrier was suspended for two games, while assistant coach Brad Biggers was suspended for five games.
Team captain Danil Kalashnikov, 20, was also suspended five games, while assistant captains Richard Olson, 19, Tyler Gaudry, 20 and Shane Harrington, 20, were suspended three games.
Another 12 players were suspended one game each.
Calls to Perrier, the Natives head coach and GM, have not been returned.