KITCHENER, ON (NEWS 1130) — Former Kitchener Rangers player is calling for changes to the hockey culture as he brings to light allegations about hazing and abuse, along with other incidents occurring in the Canadian Hockey League.
This week, Eric Guest posted a video to his Instagram, where he shared his hazing experiences and said he even regrets choosing hockey as his sport as he was belittled and bullied.
“It’s not like it used to happen anymore. It’s still happening,” he said.
“It’s just kids are hiding it and kids aren’t telling people about it … And it’s some like disturbing, gross, bad stuff.”
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During the eight-minute video, Guest explains there is “a line being crossed” when peers haze each other.
Guest says he wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom on bus trips for hours, and he saw rookies forced to slow dance together naked, among other things.
“There’s no other way to put it; then it needs to stop.”
The former Ranger also recalled an experience where a coach bragged about using a racial slur when he was in the NHL.
Guest added, he is also taking responsibility for his actions as he continued to witness the hazing and toxic culture without addressing it.
“By no means was I perfect,” he said. “In these teams, it’s like, it’s a popularity contest really, and for you to maybe go against the curve of some of the stuff that’s going on. Maybe your teammates won’t like you anymore, maybe you’ll end up getting shipped home or getting traded.”
Guest is now calling on background checks for coaches, changes to hockey culture as a whole and the way the league is run.
“The men in charge of these teams, they need background checks if they are right to be involved in developing kids and coaching kids because there are way too many that are coaches and in charge of kids that should not be”
By sharing his story, Guest hopes young athletes will have a better experience.
“It’s not cool to bully kids and pick on them and make them do stuff and abuse your power and your age.”
Last month Guest posted another video alleging drug use at Rangers parties.