Hockey volunteer says tensions with parent led to resignations
Hockey parent says association penalized his son for conflict between adults
The former president of the Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association says all 13 members of the volunteer executive quit because of rising tensions over an issue involving a hockey parent.
Trish Sullivan told CBC News the conflict started when Ian Mackey solicited personalized hockey jerseys for his son's all-star team.
Sullivan said the jerseys had the players' names ironed on the backs, which meant the association wouldn't be able to use them again next year for other players.
"Had the business donated them to Clarenville Minor Hockey to benefit that program for years to come, we would have been quite pleased with that," said Sullivan. "We were upset that these jerseys were donated personally to the kids."
Executive receives strong emails
The executive told Mackey the jerseys weren't allowed, and after that Sullivan said some executive members began receiving strongly worded emails.
"At one point I was called a Communist dictator from North Korea for trying to collect all-star fees," said Sullivan.
Sullivan added that Mackey and the coaches of his son's team threatened to stop paying registration fees and taking part in mandatory fundraising.
Sullivan demanded Mackey apologize to the hockey executives within 10 days, but she said that didn't happen within that time.
The conflict escalated to the point where Mackey's 11-year-old son was kicked out of the minor hockey program.
Parent asks for meeting
Meanwhile, Mackey said his son should not have been suspended because of a dispute between him and the minor hockey association.
"If I'm guilty of accusations made by the executive, I have no problem accepting their sanctions if I am guilty, which I feel as though I'm not," said Mackey. "But, my 11-year-old child should never been held ransom for something that I'm accused of."
Mackey eventually did apologize, but he also asked the Clarenville executive to meet with him, his lawyer, and Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador to talk about the dispute.
Sullivan said that was when she and all the other members of the Clarenville Minor Hockey Association felt they were no longer in control of the association, and they all called it quits.
Meanwhile, Hockey NL has taken over running the league for the remainder of the season, and Mackey's son is once more playing hockey with his team.
Hockey NL plans to meet soon to discuss the Clarenville situation.