Former Western Hockey League player Brad Hammett goes public and joins a proposed class action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League, alleging that he was sexually and physically assaulted by four teammates during two seasons, from 1981-1982.
TSN first reported the story of Hammett on Thursday and agreed to grant him anonymity. He later decided that he wanted to publish his story under his name, hoping that it would help other nervous players to come up with similar stories.
WHL Commissioner Ron Robison confirmed to TSN in an email that the league had spoken to Hammett and would investigate his allegations.
Edmonton defender Hammett, 56, started playing in the Western League in the 1981-1982 season with the Billings (Mont.) Bighorns. He says the abuse continued the following season after the franchise moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, and became the Islanders.
Hammett said he informed his wife, Kim and two children of the alleged abuse Saturday, days after former CHL players Daniel Carcillo and Garrett Taylor filed for class action in the Ontario Superior Court , alleging that the CHL and its top three … the junior leagues have become complicit in hazing, bullying and child abuse.
“I’ve been living with this for a long time, and my family has often wondered why I am in a mood,” Hammett said in an interview with TSN on Thursday. “Speaking of which, I feel there is a weight on my shoulders. I know it’s going to get better. I’m not hiding anything. ”
OHL player Dan Fritsche told The Athletic on Thursday that he had also been mistreated while playing for Sarnia Sting and that he would join the CHL trial. James Sayce, a lawyer representing Carcillo and Taylor, said he had been “inundated” with inquiries from former players since the filing of the case, but said he could not share player details who had joined the trial until their affidavits were filed in court.
The CHL announced Friday that it is appointing an independent review committee to review its policies and practices related to hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying. The review comes amid allegations that some players are not comfortable reporting such incidents, the league said.
Hammett said he never informed the WHL team management of the abuse he suffered because he was sure the officials did not want to listen.
“I watched a teammate [defecate] in a purse belonging to a female team coach and nothing happened to her, “said Hammett. “The nurse came into our dressing room, crying, and went straight over to the player, and he was back the next day, laughing. There were no consequences for the actions. No one in team management wanted to hear about these things. They would say, “You are the weak,” “The boys will be boys,” and “We keep things like that at home.” ”
TSN does not name the alleged perpetrators of Hammett because they have not yet been named in the court documents.
Hammett said in his complaint to the Western League that he had been attacked by a pair of Billings teammates during a road trip at the start of his 1981-82 rookie season. He said, after being pinned to a mattress, one of the players removed his penis from his pants and slapped him on the side of Hammett’s face.
Hammett said the abuse prompted him to leave the team.
“I grabbed my hockey bag from the bus, put it in the trunk of my parents’ car and said,” I’m coming home, “said Hammett. After eight games with Billings, Hammett played the rest of the season with the St. Albert Saints junior team.
After the Bighorns were sold and moved to Nanaimo, Hammett joined the team in 1982-1983 and said the abuse had resumed.
On another occasion, the same two Nanaimo teammates allegedly forced two recruits to undress in a dormitory and made them play a tug of war game with a string tied to their penis. Hammett said he witnessed the violence when he entered the locker room and demanded that it stop.
Hammett said a few days later, four Nanaimo teammates attacked him as he left the locker room shower after training.
Hammett played the following season with the New Westminster Bruins. He then played in the International Hockey League with the Kalamazoo Wings.