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North American hockey leagues launch unprecedented initiative to foster safe, healthy environment

Wednesday, October 11th
North American hockey leagues launch unprecedented initiative to foster safe, healthy environment

NEW YORK - Hockey leagues across the United States and Canada have come together to form the Respect Hockey Culture Center – a centralized platform which provides access for players, coaches and employees to confidentially receive mental health support services and to report on incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

This unprecedented alliance includes the American Hockey League (AHL), Canadian Hockey League (CHL), ECHL, Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), and United States Hockey League (USHL). The CHL is comprised of three Member Leagues: the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and Western Hockey League (WHL).

The collaboration seeks to reduce barriers to reporting abuse and misconduct, an essential step in fostering a respectful, psychologically safe, and inclusive environment in hockey. The leagues take allegations of unethical behavior and misconduct seriously and will review all reports made on the platform to determine an appropriate course of action. The Respect Hockey Culture Center is operated by an independent third-party, REES Community, with mental health supports available through the Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport. The initiative was made possible by way of a grant from the National Hockey League.

The Respect Hockey Culture Center will be rolled out to players and staff within each of the leagues over the course of the 2023-24 hockey season.

Supplemental quotes by participating Leagues

"We at the American Hockey League are thrilled to join our partners in the hockey community in welcoming the Respect Hockey Culture Center on our journey to create a comfortable and secure atmosphere throughout our sport. While our work is nowhere near complete, we will continue to push forward with our commitment to making our game a more welcoming, inclusive, and safe space." Scott Howson, President and CEO, American Hockey League

“The CHL is proud to participate in the Respect Hockey Culture Centre alongside our member leagues and many of North America’s distinguished hockey leagues to help advance a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all within our sport. We are particularly excited about the centralized reporting and information platform at respecthockey.com that will be available to our players and staff — which will provide them with an accessible, confidential, and safe place to come forward if they feel they need to.” Dan MacKenzie, President, Canadian Hockey League

"The ECHL is excited to join with our fellow leagues in the unified Respect Hockey platform from REES which will serve as a valuable resource to help inform, educate and support personnel throughout hockey's development landscape in North America to further respect our game and each other into the future." Ryan Crelin, Commissioner, ECHL 

“Having a common platform where all players as they grow in the hockey world can be familiar with, and therefore be comfortable in case he or she needs to use it, is part of getting to a better place” Mario Cecchini, Commissioner, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

“We all play an important role in making hockey safe and inclusive for everyone, and collaborative initiatives like this demonstrate a collective commitment to this mission. The PWHL is proud to join leagues across North America partnering with the Respect Hockey Culture Center to provide resources and support for athletes and staff to eradicate bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination from our game.” Jayna Hefford, Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, Professional Women’s Hockey League.

“Alongside other organizations in North America’s hockey community, the USHL is pleased to participate in the Respect Hockey Culture Centre. We’re committed to expanding our collective efforts in creating a safe, respectful, and positive environment for our players and teams. It’s our belief that with these information and reporting platforms available through respecthockey.com, we can broaden our current foundation for enhancing the health and well-being for the members of our 16 teams.” Glenn Hefferan, President and Commissioner, United States Hockey League

About REES Technologies Inc.
REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors) is the leading trauma-informed online reporting and information platform for bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination. REES partners across sectors and industries to reduce barriers to reporting and gather data to mitigate risk and inform prevention. 

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