Poll says misogyny, racism and bullying problems in Canadian hockey

Game misconduct?

A new survey from the Vancouver-based Angus Reid Institute points to a perception of a lack of respect for women and a bullying culture in Canadian hockey.

The report released Wednesday indicates players, coaches, team managers and volunteers show serious concerns about hockey culture in Canada.

The survey follows news that Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen has been placed on leave following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Vancouver police say they are aware of the allegations against Virtanen and that they have made contact with the complainant. The claims of sexual misconduct have not been proven in court.

Data from the survey reveals more than half of those who have played or coached youth hockey, 56 per cent, say they perceive the treatment of women and girls by young male hockey players as misogynistic or disrespectful.

That sentiment increases to 63 per cent among those who did not play but identify as having spent time around the game cheering on a close friend, family member, or partner.

Angus Reid president Shachi Kurl told CTV News Vancouver, "this is really important," Kurl said. "It’s not just what everyone thinks. It’s people close to the game.”

The report also indicates that half of Canadians surveyed who claim some proximity to the game say racism is also a problem. Not surprisingly, the number was found to be higher for those who identify as a visible minority.

The study did find a few positive benefits of hockey with nine in 10 of all Canadians surveyed saying hockey provides a sense of identity and community in Canada, while 87 per cent said it teaches good qualities such as hard work and dedication.

“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 a Canadian identity and they see it as part of our cultural fabric," Kurl said.

-with files from CTV News Vancouver

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