More than half of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport, according to a survey released Wednesday.
This sentiment increases to 63 per cent among those who have spent time around the game cheering on a close friend, family member or partner.
Angus Reid Institue polled more than 1,600 people and 400 had first-hand experience as a player, coach, team manager or referee.
Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game – 64 per cent of people involved said players are known to bully kids outside of the rink.
Shachi Kurl, president of Angus Reid, said Canada as a whole has a largely positive view of the sport.
“Vast majorities of people in this country still see youth hockey, recreational hockey as a massive force for good in Canada. It’s part of Canadian identity,” Kurl said.
Nine in 10 Canadians said hockey provides a communal sense of identity.
Results come just days after Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen, 24, was put on leave over sexual assault allegations.
Kurl said considering the results of the survey, it’s not surprising complaints of abuse towards women are lodged against NHL players.