Nike has suspended its relationship with Hockey Canada amid an ongoing scandal over the sports body’s handling of sexual assault allegations.
“After further review of Hockey Canada’s response, we have suspended our relationship with the federation and suspended our support,” Nike said in a statement to CTV News on Friday. “We will continue to monitor the situation and await further information regarding Hockey Canada’s actions to respond to the findings of these investigations and create a safe environment for all athletes.”
Hockey Canada has been under fire for weeks since it was revealed that the sport’s governing body paid cash awards to victims of alleged sexual assaults.
“Nike believes that sport should create a safe and supportive environment for all athletes. We are deeply concerned by the continued reports regarding Hockey Canada,” Nike said. “We believe that large and substantial actions are needed to support athletes and transform hockey for future generations.”
Hockey Canada’s board of directors called an emergency meeting on Thursday under mounting pressure from major sponsors, political leaders and provincial organizations over the group’s apparent reluctance to address its handling of alleged sexual assaults.
Hockey Canada has rejected calls for a leadership change.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested on Thursday that if hockey’s national governing body continues to resist calls to deal with its handling of sexual assault claims and funding, the organization could be replaced.
“It is inconceivable that the people of Hockey Canada continue to be involved. It’s not like there’s anything extraordinarily special about the folks at Hockey Canada, it means they’re the only people in the country who can lead an organization like this,” Trudeau said. “There must be a global change. They have to. They have to realize that if we have to create an organization – get rid of Hockey Canada and create an organization called “Canada Hockey” instead, people will consider doing it. ”
Nike joins a number of organizations and sponsors, such as Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons, in ending ties with the sports body.
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