A Massachusetts high school hockey player has spoken out, revealing how he and other members of his team have been subjected to racist, violent, sexual and homophobic hazing rituals.
The Danvers high school hockey player claimed that upper class students would abuse younger team members in the locker room by hitting or stroking them.
The teenager claims that on Tuesdays, players were forced to participate in a ritual called “Gay Tuesday,” where the alleged assailants forced team members to strip down, then turn off the changing room lights and touch their hands. genitals of their teammates for the purpose of making fun of homosexuals. .
“I was very, very scared, very uncomfortable, and I wanted to leave very, very, very, very quickly,” said the player. ABC 5 on the basis of anonymity.
He also claimed that players who refused to utter the word n were physically beaten with a sex toy.
“I would refuse to say it and I would be held up by several of my friends and beaten. And then I would walk around in shame, being heckled for the rest of the night, skating with the outline of a penis on my face, ”he said.
Despite allegations of abuse, Danvers police were unable to press charges as the teenager refused to file a criminal complaint.
Danvers High School student-athlete explained how he and other members of his hockey team were subjected to racist, violent, sexual and homophobic hazing rituals
The teenager claims that on Tuesdays, the players were forced to participate in a ritual called “Gay Tuesday” where the alleged assailants would force the team members to undress, then turn off the changing room lights and touch the parties. genitals of their teammates in order to make fun of homosexuals.
“The Danvers Police Department was unable to press charges because the alleged victim did not wish to,” Carrie Kimball, spokesperson for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, wrote in a statement to L’Aigle-Tribune.
“We agreed with the Danvers Police Department’s assessment that a prosecution was not possible without the involvement of the alleged victim.”
Blodgett’s office has not investigated the allegations and has no plans to do so at this time.
However, the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said on Friday that officials were seeking additional information on the allegations.
“Racism, homophobia and fanaticism of any kind have no place in our locker rooms, skating rinks and playgrounds. If you think sport is about bullying and hazing, you lose and our kids pay the price, ”Healey wrote on Facebook last week.
Despite allegations of abuse, Danvers police were unable to lay charges as the teenager refused to file a criminal complaint. However, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said his office was seeking additional information on the allegations.
Head hockey coach and former school resources officer Steve Baldassare (pictured in 2015) was laid off in January 2021 and reinstated in February before finally stepping down in July. He and his coaching staff have denied any knowledge of the allegations
Meanwhile, community members accused Danvers officials of turning a blind eye to the alleged abuses.
The teenage whistleblower alleged that the school’s coaching staff were aware of the locker room hazing, noting an instance of the assistant coach participating in a “gay Tuesday” ritual.
“He turned on the lights. I saw everyone naked. One of the captains in the middle of the room, he asked him what was going on and the player said, “Coach, it’s gay Tuesday. And the coach said, “I don’t want to know. “He turns off the lights and he goes, shuts the door,” the player told ABC 5.
The teenager was questioned by school officials, police and an independent investigator, prompting three separate inquiries into his allegations.
Head hockey coach and former school resources officer Steve Baldassare was laid off in January 2021 and reinstated in February before finally stepping down in July. He and his coaching staff have denied any knowledge of the allegations.
During their investigation, authorities found no evidence of criminal misconduct, according to an unredacted police report obtained by the media.
Investigators concluded “there was a culture of intimidation” and “misconduct within the team,” but detailed reports of the alleged misconduct were made.
The school principal, responding to the inquiry, claimed that officials “Addressed the discipline of staff and students” and “implementation of training”.
The teenager also claimed that players who refused to say the N word were physically beaten with a sex toy.
However, some argue that these measures were not tough enough.
“It’s really amazing that they felt the best option was to just try to cover it up and it will go away,” said the player. “But it’s not going to go away. ”
Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented several alleged victims of Catholic Church abuse, called the incident “an institutional cover-up.”
“The facts raise questions such as where the supervisors were when these repeated acts took place and what kind of hiring practices the city of Danvers has to create such a negative culture… The lack of supervision is shocking “, did he declare. Salem news.
“The town of Danvers must be investigated by an independent agency. Not someone they hired.
The whistleblower also blames Danvers officials.
The teenage whistleblower, who requested anonymity, says he believes student-athletes are victims and thinks adults “who have been given the power and are paid to monitor these types of things should be responsible “
“I feel like the people who should be responsible are not. It’s not the kids. The adults are the people who have the power, they are the ones who are paid to watch this stuff, ”he explained.
“Their whole job is to make sure these kids act a certain way, and they really let the ball go.”
The player also believes that his teammates are victims of this situation.
“Remember, these are 18-year-olds and the children they care for are usually 14,” he said. “These are 18 year olds who have been training in the gym for four years with the team, so they’re just going to pin down the 14 year olds and beat them. I felt worse for these children than for myself.
“I remember most of the time people were sort of like, ‘Why are we doing this? And then other people would say, “I don’t know,” and we would continue to do that. ”