|Neepawa Natives issue apology|
November 3, 2011
The Neepawa Natives organization understands that our player’s actions have reflected poorly on our organization, our community, our league and hockey in general. For this we join the players in offering our sincerest apologies to the victims, our sponsors, our player’s parents, our fans and our community.
We share the public’s position that such actions should not be part of the game that we love. As a Board, our goal was and remains the same – to build and oversee a Junior Hockey program to allow young players an opportunity to develop their personal and their hockey skills – on and off the ice. We know the events that occurred in the dressing room in late September and the weeks following has put this goal in jeopardy. We understand that an example needs to be made and we are prepared to accept our role to ensure it never happens again.
Our organization has been put on the national stage in a most negative light. We accept this. What we cannot accept is that this somehow is a reflection of our community. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
We need everyone to know that our best efforts have been made every step of the way. The issue was reported to the authorities as soon as it was known. Ongoing communication with both the players and the league uncovered more irregularities which were reported immediately as well. We will continue to cooperate with both the MJHL and the RCMP in their investigations and we are as anxious as anyone to understand what happened. We have faith in the process and will accept their findings, deal with the consequences and act on all recommendations.
Make no mistake, this issue has rocked us hard and we had to consider every option. After a great deal of discussion we are here today to reconfirm and renew our commitment to Junior Hockey in Neepawa. We humbly ask that our players, fans, sponsors and the community renew their commitment to the Neepawa Natives.
In closing, we need everyone to understand that this organization is not closed to anyone. All organizations need new people with fresh ideas to be successful. We need this now more than ever before. Please consider this as our plea for help and your invitation to join our team – in any capacity - as we enter a new era of Junior Hockey in Neepawa.