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.
Hazing in high school sports is common enough without coaches getting involved. At Walled Lake Western High School in Michigan both head coach Bill Brenner, and an assistant, will not be back next season after the district uncovered evidence of a hazing incident at a team party held last fall. Here’s more from the Daily Tribune:
Initial reports indicated that a player was tied to a pole and struck with pool noodles and pillows. Police said the victim was laughing during the incident, which was described as “horseplay.” However, the victim’s mother, who said she has seen videotape of the incident, said her son was duct taped to the pole, with his mouth taped shut, and was punched in the head. The victim was diagnosed with symptoms consistent with post-concussion syndrome following the incident, but officials said the victim told investigators that he had headaches his entire life.
So, according to the father of one of the wrestlers involved in this incident at Troy High School (CA) what happened when nine boys were forced to stand in a circle outside a cabin back in January at 2:30 am was NOT hazing. They were new members of the team, they did have their hands bound with plastic wrap, were forced to eat cat food and stand in a bucket of cold water for hours on end.
But because none of the boys admitted to actually being intimidated, it really should be considered a “rite of passage” and not something awful like . . . hazing. Obviously.
‘Cause if someone’s dad says it’s not hazing, it doesn’t matter what the school says or the State of California, right?
Because of their wacky ways though, the high school has suspended two of the older boys involved in this “rite of passage.”
Source: NBC Los Angeles