We were getting so close to Christmas and I was afraid that we weren’t going to find a story about heroics and the holiday spirit. Well guess what, friends – we’ve got ourselves a real
American Canadian hero! George Atis is an attorney in Thornhill, Ontario (Toronto, says a map) and he has a kid playing for the Toronto Ice Dogs peewee A club. But all is not well with the Ice Dogs, hockey fans, because there’s a girl playing for them. Actually, there was a 12-year old girl playing, but not anymore. Because George bullied her off the team.
George, who is not a coach of the team, wrote an agenda and sent it out to the parents of all of the team’s players, and it detailed his suggested actions for limiting the playing time to completely removing Kayla Watkins from the roster. Keep in mind that the peewee A club is the lowest level of minor hockey in Toronto. So none of these kids are exactly the next Manon Rheaume.
Destroy an innocent child’s joy of an extracurricular activity, Toronto Sun…
“It is now 14 games into the season and I have noticed that Kayla’s play has not improved,” the agenda reads. “It is at the point where many of the team members do not want to play on this team if this situation is not addressed.”
Atis then details two possible options for consideration, either moving Kayla from defence to forward and keeping her off of power plays and penalty kills, or playing her every second shift on defence and again keeping her off special teams “until her skating and shooting improves.”
“If Kayla is NOT amenable to the above options, the coach should find Kayla a new team to play on — commensurate to her skill level — for the balance of the season,” the agenda reads.
But the coach, who runs the team and chooses the players and their respective playing time, never saw a problem with Kayla’s performance, at least in regard to the team’s less-than-stellar 8-13-1 record and 10th place league standing. The Ice Dogs coach said he couldn’t believe that Atis did this. Kayla’s mom agreed. And when it all came back to Atis, he admitted that he felt terrible about the whole thing:
“As a parent,” he said, “my heart goes out to her. If Kayla truly read this agenda by accident, it is very unfortunate … I am mortified that Vanessa or Sheree or whoever shared this agenda with Kayla would actually do so … I believe Kayla’s feelings could have been spared. That, to me, is the great shame in this process that Kayla would feel as she did.”
HOW DARE THEY! George is right, that was a dick move by Kayla’s parents. They should have done something more nonchalant, like telling her that her hockey equipment was stolen by a Puerto Rican gang member, or it went to live with her childhood pet on a farm. Look, I love making sexist jokes, and I love making fun of Canadians, but this guy’s just wrong. And if you disagree, then go ahead and sign up for George’s newsletter.
(Blackhawks Ice Girl photo via The 3rd Intermission, and totally unrelated and counterproductive but I don’t care.)