Following the media availability with Winnipeg Jets co-owner Mark Chipman and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on Tuesday, season ticket holders and presumably others received an email from True North titled ‘A Message to our Fans, Partners and Stakeholders’ which reads as follows:
I know that many of you are rightfully asking questions about the awful and intolerable events that took place with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. Like many, we were upset and disheartened to learn what transpired, and have been unpacking the layers from these tragic circumstances. With the benefit of time, please accept this letter sharing our understanding of the past, and motivations for the future.
To begin, we commend Kyle Beach for having the courage to come forward and not only shed light on what took place in 2010, but also bring to light issues of sexual harassment and assault in hockey (and beyond). As a sport, we have to acknowledge that we failed Kyle. As a hockey community, which we are a part of, we need to respond to this failure with systemic changes that prevent similar situations in the future; however, if a similar situation does arise, we must also have robust, real-time systems in place to address the circumstances and provide support to survivors.
Building on our long-standing values of Team, Trust & Respect, Do the Right Thing and Continuous Improvement, know that organizationally True North continues to pursue excellence in creating a safe, respectful, healthy working environment. Our hockey club is one of acceptance and support, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Know that this message exists in True North’s policies and procedures, but more importantly, needs to manifest itself in how we run our teams and organization.
These messages have been formally re-communicated to our teams and organization in the past week – reaffirming clearly that harassment and abuse are not tolerated; however, if this has occurred or has been observed, there are systems in place to investigate and offer support to those affected.
While we cannot change what occurred or how the process was handled, we want to assure our fans, partners and stakeholders, that we have re-engaged the topic of sexual harassment and assault, seeking understanding from survivors and those with expertise. Using our voice in our community we commit to work with qualified personnel to improve resources and programming to prevent future occurrences, foster a culture where victims of sexual harassment and abuse can safely share their stories, and facilitate healing for survivors.
This is our steadfast commitment to our community and to you.
It was signed by Mark Chipman (Governor & Executive Chairman) and John Olfert (President & Chief Operating Officer).