Ottawa Senators fan Katie Kerrick harassed at Habs game
Montreal Canadiens' fans hit, throw beer at two young women wearing Senators jerseys
Katie Kerrick was excited to head to the Bell Centre to catch the Montreal Canadiens versus the Ottawa Senators in the second game of the 2015 NHL playoffs.
She had secured a pair of resale tickets for the April 17 game for her and her 23-year-old sister, Annie, who drove up from New Hampshire just for the game.
And he said, 'F--king whore' and continued [to hit me with his towel].- Katie Kerrick
Originally from Ottawa, the young women decided to don their Senators jerseys.
Kerrick, 19, says she's accustomed to the verbal harassment thrown at her whenever she wears a Sens shirt in Montreal.
"There were a lot of comments made but that didn't really bother us," she said.
But it did bother her when a man at least 10 years her senior hit her and her sister with his towel, threw beer on them and called them derogatory names.
She said the assailant was sitting a couple of seats over from her in the same row. When she and her sister got up after the third period to hit the bathrooms, he followed her out while hitting her in the back of the head with his game towel, Kerrick recalled.
"I thought it was an accident at first but then it kept happening, so I knew it was on purpose," she said.
She told him it wasn't funny and asked him to stop.
"And he said, 'F--king whore' and continued to do it," said Kerrick.
She said she told an attendant about the incident almost immediately. As they were speaking, the man "went out of his way to nudge me, and then his friend also did the same," Kerrick said.
No help from security
Within a few minutes, another older man wound up his towel and hit her sister in the leg while the two women walked to the bathroom.
They told a second attendant who told her, "So what do you want me to do, give them a mean look?"
The two women gave up trying to stop the harassment, and returned to their seats for the overtime period.
The Habs scored the winning goal a few minutes into overtime.
The first man from her row who had previously hit her with the towel decided to rub it in.
"His first action of celebration was to lean over his two friends, who also leaned back so he could do this, and throw his beer onto us — and it was a pretty full can. I was pretty soaked and so was my sister," Kerrick said.
Kerrick said plenty of people witnessed the incidents but no one came to her and her sister's defence.
But Kerrick received some great news when the Senators learned of the harassment.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCOttawa">@cbcottawa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sens?src=hash">#Sens</a> fans, we have her back. She'll be Mr. Melnyk's guest in one of our private suites for Game 3! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeLoveOurFans?src=hash">#WeLoveOurFans</a>—@Senators
No longer a Habs fan
As the crowd slowly moved out of the Bell Centre after the game, the two sisters tried to high-tail it out of there.
The women were met with jeers and more vulgar comments from passersby.
Kerrick, who also used to cheer for the Habs when they weren't playing the Senators, says the experience has tainted her love for le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.
Alerted to the incident on Twitter, the Montreal Canadiens organization apologized.
<a href="https://twitter.com/BonksMullet">@BonksMullet</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Charbsy">@Charbsy</a> We're sorry to read about this.That's awful. Please tell your friend to contact us: <a href="http://t.co/JL1HkHHywA">http://t.co/JL1HkHHywA</a> ^ER—@CanadiensMTL
"I used to like the Canadiens but I can't honestly say that anymore," Kerrick said.
"I love all hockey. But now, especially the Sens."
The Montreal Canadiens told CBC News late Saturday afternoon that it is in touch with Kerrick and is looking into the situation.