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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Cheung

Glasgow Ice Hockey: Family Atmosphere, Fast-Paced Action & Retraumatisation

It has been 6 months since Glasgow Clan made a signing that would be the hallmark of their so far unsuccessful 2022-23 season. Since then they have refused to listen to the pain and anger they caused. Miss J recounts her reaction to that signing.

On Thursday 29th September 2022, I was sitting at dinner with a group of people I met at  University and suddenly my phone began going crazy. I checked the notifications, opened twitter and saw the backlash to the Glasgow Clan announcing Lasse Uusivirta. I won’t go into the details of that signing or the player in question’s history as, if you are not familiar with the facts, a quick google search will provide an overview. 

The feelings that came from this signing were reminiscent of how I felt when Raith Rovers signed David Goodwillie. Furious. Bewildered. Disgusted. However, this time there was also disappointment and violation. Ice Hockey is a safe place for people, many of whom are survivors of sexual violence and they had welcome someone accused of such an heinous act into our home. In this awful moment, the overwhelming condemnation that came from the Purple Army was remarkable and acted as the only blanket of reassurance that sexual violence is not accepted in our sport. 

The decision to sign this player was unacceptable, the video minimising the allegations was unacceptable, but the response from the organisation in the aftermath goes so far beyond unacceptable. There has been no accountability, no attempt to make reparations and no open communication on how the organisation intends to ensure this never happens again. What the club don’t seem to understand is that their actions (and then lack of) has serious implications for many people. 

My memory of Friday 30th September to Tuesday 3rd October is a dark blur. I know I went to work on the Friday and Monday, but for those few days I felt like a walking shell. I was retraumatised. I have spent many years working on my trauma, however, for very valid reasons, this situation struck many chords and whilst I felt for the most part in control, I was struggling. From the outside I looked tired and to be fair I was; I did not sleep over those few days for longer than a few hours. I began having nightmares about my trauma, again and found myself endlessly searching the internet for information on this signing. Eventually I called the Crisis Hotline at Glasgow Clyde Rape Crisis and vented some of my anger and grief. I still found myself way outside my window of tolerance and extremely emotional. Anger. Disgust. Sadness. 

The moment my head began to clear was when I raised my voice saying the words “I was raped” for the first time on a public platform. I shouldn’t have had to, but what came next were the messages from other survivors who had also been completely retraumatised. I am thankful I was able to give a voice to many people who had been harmed by this signing, but I shouldn’t have had to. 

The pain didn’t stop when I spoke up, but my mission became apparent; all professional sports teams in Scotland need to have a Sexual Misconduct Policy. 

At the moment of writing this, Glasgow Clan have still never addressed the harm they have caused by signing this player and have ignored all attempts from End Sexual Misconduct in Sport to reach out. It isn’t difficult; take accountability, educate yourself on the issue and make reparations. 


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