Thursday, November 6, 2014

#OHL suspends Betzold and Marchment 15 games for abuse on social media.


Yesterday the OHL suspended Peterborough Petes centre Greg Betzold and Belleville Bulls Jake Marchment (2014 6ᵗʰ round (157ᵗʰ pick) by the Los Angeles Kings) for 15 games each for vulgar conversations that both had with girls on Tinder. Screenshots of messages from both players were taken of the hateful words and brought to the leagues awareness.

Though we have copies of the messages, we won't post them because we do not feel they are appropriate. Both have images of the girls involved and we don't want to nor do we feel we have the right to share them.

Marchment was making advances towards the one female, and when she turned down his advances he continued to say “Babe I play in the O and got drafted to the NHL ya I get turned down so much…Lolz you ugly *explitive*”.. 

Betzold was calling the girls "easy" (with more hateful words) after she said that she didn't know what kind of girl she was. And though she seemed to handle herself like a mature young girl he just continued to go off on her.

The Petes were made aware of the comments the other day and when this happened, Peterborough general manager Mike Oke said “I’m just going to say we’ve dealt with him,” said the GM on Tuesday. “We’ve dealt with the incident internally and we’re moving forward.”.
So the plan to deal with an incident that happened behind "closed doors" will be handled behind closed doors?.. Hardly setting an example on how players should conduct themselves on social media AND with young girls. You would think that if the team was actually wanting to scare its players away from doing this kind of thing that they would want to set an example.

Luckily, the OHL didn't feel that behind closed doors was the way to handle this when they made the announcement yesterday that both players would be suspended for 15 games each for their beyond hateful comments. 

David Branch, commissioner of the OHL said, "This most inappropriate and concerning activity contravenes the league's social networking policy and a number of other policies, including Respect in Sport (Harassment and Abuse) and diversity." and he continued to say "The social networking conduct displayed by these players goes against what the league stands for and serves to highlight a sense of entitlement that we, as a league, have worked hard to try to eliminate."
 It appears that Greg's comments were done either on the phone of or through the account of teammate Chad Heffernan. Jake tweeted "In the past 24 hours there have been some comments made about my teammate Chad Heffernan." and in the following tweet added "I would like to make it very clear that these comments were made by myself on his cell phone, not by Chad." He would then continue to take responsibility with the following comments.

All parties seemed to handle this (minus the Petes GM maybe..) the way they should have. The players accepted responsibility and publicly apologized and the League handed out heavy suspensions. The league needs to show that there is 0 tolerance with these types of things. There is word that this is not the first time incidents like this have happened. If this is an ongoing issue, the league needs to continue its no tolerance stance on it. Players cannot have this mentality and the leage cannot support them thinking they can talk to girls however they want because "they play in the O"

I would suggest that the next time this happens (if it does, hopefully not) they raise the suspension to 20 games and continue to do so until players realize that it is not acceptable behavior.

What are your thoughts on the suspension and how the OHL handled them? Do you think they were too hard on the players, not hard enough or do you think they made the right decision. Let us know in the comments, on our Facebook Page or on Twitter.

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