John Lagimodiere, a minor hockey coach in Saskatoon, has taken to social media to apologize for being a "doorknob" during a game in which he was ejected for yelling at a referee.
Lagimodiere, a consultant who is often called upon for his informed commentary on aboriginal issues, said he was embarrassed that he lost his temper at a game.
'I realized the idiocy of my actions and the embarrassment kicked in.'- John Lagimodiere
"That behaviour shouldn't be acceptable," Lagimodiere told CBC News Monday. "I've seen other people in the stands and you think, 'Why are you doing that buddy?' Or I'd hear other parents saying, 'Yeah, there was that one guy in the stands, it was just really embarrassing.' Well, I was that guy."
According to Lagimodiere, his team was down 9-2 and there were five minutes left in the game, the last of the season for his team, when his outburst took place.
Lagimodiere said he quickly realized he was wrong and posted a general apology on his Facebook page.
"I would like to thank the ref for ejecting me from the game.… and for making me do the walk of shame around the rink to our dressing room," he wrote online. "That was when I realized the idiocy of my actions and the embarrassment kicked in."
He said he has also apologized directly to the referee. On Monday, he said he went online so that his message of regret would reach as many people as possible.
I was a 'doorknob', coach says
"[To] all the kids who saw me be a doorknob, and all the parents who had to witness it, and all the hockey kids and all the hockey families. So, you make a mistake, you got to own up to it, and try to fix it," Lagimodiere said.
Kelly Boes, an official with Saskatoon Minor Hockey, said the organization has an education campaign about respect for referees. It also has mandatory anger management training for coaches.
The league also enforces an automatic two-game ejection policy for yelling at a ref.
Sanctions could also go further if there is a chronic problem.
"If a coach looks like he's going to have a perennial problem, he won't be coaching the next year," the league's Kelly Boes said Monday. "The zone that he's involved with isn't going to want to go through any problems again. And they get evaluated not only by their zone but by their parents."
Lagimodiere said he has learned his lesson, adding that the referee involved has accepted his apology.
The full text of the coach's apology on Facebook is below:
A sincere apology
To the referees, hockey players, kids, parents, grandparents and other hockey people who attended the Saskatoon Aces and Renegade Warriors Tier III playoff game at Lions Arena on Saturday March 8, I offer a full, formal and humble apology for my behaviour towards the referee at said game.
I now realize that not liking or agreeing on the way a game is being refereed does not allow me to act like a moron and yell at and or abuse a referee. In this day and age with all of the seminars you have to take and after watching other abusive behaviour from parents, you would think I would have learned. My behaviour that night proves otherwise. I am thoroughly embarrassed. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.
I would like to thank the ref for ejecting me from the game....and for making me do the walk of shame around the rink to our dressing room. That was when I realized the idiocy of my actions and the embarrassment kicked in. My mom was there too. We were losing 9-2 with 5 minutes left, last game of the year, way to go out with class......smooth move buddy.
I see even the Pope can slip up every once in a while, so in his spirit in will do a penance of a donation to Kid Sport, skate five sets of lines at next practice and I vow to never yell at another referee again. If I have concerns in the future I will speak with the officials in a respectful manner and in a calm tone. Referees have a difficult job and they deserve respect. I am sure calm discourse will have a much better outcome than having a lunatic scream from across the ice.
Again deepest apologies to all who had to witness my boorish and ignorant behaviour. I promise it will never happen again.
Replay the Saskatoon Morning live chat discussing Lagimodiere's apology.