Family wants hockey coach removed after alleged verbal abuse of son
- NC Raine
A Saskatchewan AAA midget hockey player is asking for his league to take action against his allegedly verbally abusive hockey coach.
Josh Bear, 16, was released on November 10th from the midget AAA Yorkton Rawtec Maulers after a profanity-laced reproof from coach Kevin Rawlick. Bear, expecting abusive language from his coach, recorded the conversation on his phone.
“I'm going to lose my (expletive) nuts here because every (expletive) time I try to deal with you, you get your (expletive) mom and dad involved. This isn't (expletive) pee-wee, man,” said the voice alleged to be Rawlick.
“You leave here without telling me, you just (expletive) off. And then I text you where are you? 'Here's my dad's cell.' Is that your agent? Do I have to go through your dad for everything? Because it's (expletive) getting old,” said the recorded voice.
The recording ended with Bear being informed he was suspended, and needed to make a decision over the weekend on his future with the team.
“Going in to this meeting, I knew it was going to be more of a graphic meeting. So, I turned on my audio recording, just because I know I was scared,” Bear said Wednesday in Saskatoon during a joint news conference with his father, Tim Bear, as well as FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme, and Ochapowace First Nation Chief Margaret Bear.
According to Tim Bear, no meeting on Josh's future ever took place. Rather, he was informed via text message of his release from the team. Tim Bear said they found Josh's equipment in a box outside the arena.
The 16-year-old player said Rawlick had been swearing at him for several practices before, and as the only Indigenous member of the team, that he had been feeling singled out.
“Being the only First Nation kid on the team, I kind of took that as an offence because he's been on me for the last little bit and just swearing at me. Kind of singling me out in front of everyone else,” said Bear.
Rawlick has since been put on probation from the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA), and it required to complete Hockey Canada's Respect for Sport training by December 15th. But Bear and his family believe that in order for other youth to avoid such instances, Rawlick should be removed from the league.
“I can't be black and white about why this took place,” Tim Bear said during press conference. “But how many other kids are on that team, and Josh Bear – from Ochapowace First Nation – is the only one going through this?”
Josh Bear fears that the incident and subsequent removal from the team will compromise his midget hockey season. He is currently signed with the AA team Melfort Mustangs, and is unable to join any interested AAA teams because he's signed with the Yorkton Maulers. He also expressed his concern at continuing to play hockey.
“It took a toll on me as a person,” said Bear. “What I went through, I really don't think this should happen to anyone else.”