Long time readers of BadJocks will remember the story of hockey player Akim Aliu, who fought back when junior hockey teammates tried to haze him back on 2007. This story is for every one out there who tries to claim that there are never any negative consequences to someone who refuses to “play along” when someone attempts to do some “team bonding.”
You can read the longer version of Aliu’s battles at the Montreal Gazette, but here’s a taste:
For Aliu, controversy has dogged his every move in elite hockey. At 16, he refused to cram his naked body into a bathroom at the back of the Windsor Spitfires bus as part of a hazing exercise in the Ontario Hockey League.
A few weeks later, Steve Downie tapped him during the shoulder and cross-checked the rookie in the mouth. After retreating to the dressing room for repairs, Aliu returned to fight his captain. The incident garnered international media attention and highlighted the craziness surrounding hazing in all kinds of amateur and professional sports.
Talk about a dramatic initiation for a kid who didn’t even start playing competitive hockey until he was 12 after his family moved to Canada from Kyiv, Ukraine. Aliu ended up as an ostracized teenager at odds with his teammates and the opposition. Confrontation followed his every turn.