Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hockey dad banned from arenas over outburst

Apologizes for his 'unacceptable behaviour'

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A father has been banned from hockey arenas for the rest of the season following a verbal tirade at a minor hockey game that was caught on video and posted to the Internet.

Terry Kirkham of Hockey Winnipeg says a letter has been sent to Jason Boyd informing him he's banned from all arenas for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.

Video from the Monday game shows Boyd yelling his disapproval when a referee called a hit to one of his son's opponents a head shot, calling the injured defenceman a "midget" who would not have been struck in the head if he were taller.

It shows Boyd, who was holding a baby, then get into a heated argument with the camera holder and with Chuck Kitson, whose 15-year-old son, Emerson, took the hit.

In the footage, Kitson approaches Boyd over the midget comment. "I touched him with a single finger and said 'excuse me,' " Kitson said.

The one-minute clip uploaded to YouTube then shows Boyd threatening to "cave his (expletive) glasses in" if Kitson touched him again. It had about 75,000 views as of Friday evening.

"I was quite angry that somebody would be yelling when my son is lying on the ice, and calling him names," Kitson said Friday.

"I mean he wasn't moving, and this fellow was oblivious to everyone around him."

Boyd said in a statement he wishes to "sincerely apologize" to Kitson and his son for his "unacceptable behaviour" during the game.

"I cannot and will not try to justify or excuse my actions. I had a significant lapse in judgment and for that I am truly sorry," Boyd said, adding he supports moves by minor hockey leagues to reduce "parent confrontations" at games.

In an email containing the statement, Boyd's cousin, Paul Boyd, said the hockey dad is offering to make a personal apology to Kitson and his son.

But Kitson said he does not know what to make of the offer.

"I'm not quite sure how he can apologize. He threatened me, baited me, tried to incite physical violence, tried to entice me into more actions throughout the game. I'm not quite sure how he can apologize for that and have me put any faith in it."

Kitson said the hit came within the first five minutes of the match, and that Boyd continued to berate players and the referees throughout the remainder of the game -- even after Kitson's son was hit again and had his arm broken.

Kirkham said the Lord Selkirk Minor Hockey Association sought the suspension for Boyd, adding such a ban isn't something Hockey Winnipeg has to do that often.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2013 A11

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