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Giving Credit Where Due: OMHA Lifts Ban

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Just five days ago, we brought you a story about the Ontario Minor Hockey Association suspending a coach for a year for pulling his team off the ice in protest after one of his players had a racial slur hurled at him. If you recall correctly, we weren't overly pleased with the decision, and we lit into the OMHA. OK, OK, we compared them to Nazi soldiers.

Yesterday, Wilderness reader Chris Winner passed on a link to a very brief story that the ban had been lifted. Read that again. The ban was lifted. While we are glad to see the ban has been washed, we are left with some questions, and we feel the need to give credit where credit is due.

Make the jump, would you?

When announcing the suspension, OMHA league director Richard Ropchan was outspoken in saying that he was simply enforcing the rules, and that the coach had broken a very serious rule. Mr. Ropchan made was vehement in the need to suspend this coach to send the message that he had disrupted schedules, and gave no indication that there was any common ground to be found.

In announcing that the suspension had been lifted, Mr. Ropchan had this to say:

"The board met behind closed doors yesterday and decided to end Walsh's suspension. This is the right decision to move forward."

The turnaround on this is enough to have caused Mr. Ropchan whiplash. At least he didn't add any strain to his life with a full throated defense of why the suspension was lifted.

It is good to see them lift the ban, but not even a half-hearted attempt to explain why it was lifted? Where is the holier-than-thou attitude, now? Why is Mr. Ropchan not taking the chance to explain to people that the OMHA made a mistake and suspended the wrong person? Why is Mr. Ropchan not stepping up and explaining to the children in his association that it is OK to stand up for yourself and others when wronged?

Yeah, great, you lifted the ban. Without a reason, it is hallow. We should probably be thankful you did anything at all. Just know, sir, that you still have not done the right thing. You corrected the wrong decision, now make the right one and explain to the world that you screwed up in the first place, and that what Coach Walsh did was not only the right thing to do, but an example to be followed.

I promised you I was going to give credit where it is due. Yet, here I am lambasting Mr. Ropchan for continuing his idiotic march into the world's largest brick wall. Where is this magical credit I promised?

Right here:

To everyone who wrote in to the OMHA, spoke up on a radio show, blog comment section, wrote about this, reported on it, commented about it on Twitter, or made any attempt to express to the world just how wrong this was... thank you.

As Edmund Burke said, "All the is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Anyone who stood up and voiced their disapproval of this action did not allow the evil thinking to prevail. I have a strong feeling the outrage expressed in Ontario, and around the world, had a big part in this ban being lifted.

Congratulations to everyone who made it clear they would not stand for this suspension, and the message it sent. You have set a proud example for the children in the OMHA, and for children everywhere. This humble author could not be more proud of all of you.

As for you, Mr. Ropchan, you should continue to bathe in your own shame.