Name-calling incident frustrates female hockey player in boys' league
Hockey is a sport that is supposed to unite all Canadians, but a recent incident in London is showing that it may not be that simple.
Kaitlyn Tauschek plays on an all-boys team in a house league division for the West London Hockey Association.
Kaitlyn says a boy on the opposing team told her, "You're a b----, and b------ can't play hockey."
The 12-year-old replied with some harsh words of her own, telling him "F*** you."
"I was really angry. And I really wanted to show him that girls can play hockey and girls can be better than boys," Kaitlyn says.
Western professor Tracy Isaacs says throwing words like these around on any side is totally unacceptable - but she's not surprised.
"Kids shouldn't be trash talking at all on the ice," says Issacs.
Kaitlyn's father filed a formal complaint, but the other player involved denied saying anything.
"I was really disappointed," says Mark Tauschek.
The hockey league says they take these incidents seriously, but there's nothing they can do.
"We can strongly suggest people do the right thing, But at the end of the day if they have indicated, or you know you are in a situation where a person indicates they didn't say something, then I don't know how much more you can do," says league spokesperson Tony Martindale.
Isaacs says there needs to be more education and training about gender sensitivity in all sports - not just hockey.
"There's a big difference between calling some one a jerk, or you can't play hockey. It's saying 'because you are a girl' that's the issue," says Issacs.
She adds derogatory comments directed a females sometimes go unnoticed.
"Where I think the league would have something to say, is if somebody used the n-word against another player. Whereas the b-word doesn't get the same sort of response," Issacs says.
Kaitlyn's future with the league is uncertain.
"As the kids get a little older, this is likely going to happen more often, and you know, I'm a dad, I want to protect her from that," her dad says.
But Kaitlyn has other ideas. "It just makes me want to be stronger," she says.