WMHA president suspended following crude Facebook comments

The president of the Windsor Minor Hockey Association has been suspended until the end of the 2016-17 season after the association learned of inappropriate comments he made on social media.

Dean Lapierre made a comment on Facebook over the U.S. presidential inauguration weekend in response to recent Women’s marches in the U.S.

Senior executive members of the WMHA consulted with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and passed the following motion:

1. Suspend Dean Lapierre until the end of the 2016-17 season;

2. Take Respect in Sport – Activity Leader and successfully complete;

3. Participate in and successfully complete a training program focusing on ethics when dealing with Social Media platforms;

4. Participate in and successfully complete the WMHA Onside workshop that is offered by the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Windsor;

5. A written apology from Dean Lapierre.

In a written statement, the WMHA takes this matter seriously and will institute the necessary policies and procedures with respect to social media.

The WMHA says it will also update their Code of Conduct to reflect the behaviour that is expected of all WMHA volunteers in particular when using social media. The WMHA will revise their Code of Conduct and will institute guidelines as to what volunteers can post on their social media applications.

The WMHA Board of Directors will participate in the WMHA Onside workshop offered by the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Windsor.

The association said Lapierre understands that he has made a mistake and is remorseful.

“Dean and the WMHA understand that as WMHA President, there is no separating the private individual from the public persona on social media and that he must be held accountable,” said the statement.

The association said Dean is a tireless, dedicated volunteer of 30 years who has made many positive contributions to hockey and to the community.

The WMHA board says it will take the necessary steps to institute a cultural change for the betterment of the WMHA and its volunteers.