Martin St-Louis believes that initiations are there to make “a person feel welcome” within a group, but that the rite of passage must be done with respect.
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“There are ways to do it with a lot of respect. It should have been like this for a long time. In sports or business, there are ways [de bien faire les choses]. It’s sad to hear a story like that, but [c’est] crowded [s]’improve,’ said the Canadian’s instructor, at the end of the morning, at the end of his team’s training at the Bell Centre.
In recent days, disturbing testimonies from former players have come to light, with some reporting abuse, intimidation, humiliation, torture and sexual assault during initiations into teams. of the major junior from across the country.
St-Louis did not play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, having instead taken the path of the University of Vermont after his midget AAA internship and a stint in Hawkesbury at the junior A level. Discreet
This did not prevent him from being initiated. However, he did not want to display his personal experience in the public square.
The 47-year-old admits that the past few months have not been easy for the image of junior hockey, with Hockey Canada having been at the heart of sex scandals in particular.
“Sport brings a lot of positives,” assured St-Louis. But there are sometimes very big negatives. It can become a big black spot. We have to make sure we don’t see any more black spots. [Ce n’est] not one person who can change that is to do it collectively to protect young people. »
– With the collaboration of Mylène Richard