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OHL hands out 15-game suspensions for ‘unacceptable private comments’


The OHL handed out matching 15-game suspensions to Greg Betzold and Jake Marchment (pictured) on Wednesday for their abusive language toward women on social media.

Here’s the press release:

The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Greg Betzold of the Peterborough Petes and Jake Marchment of the Belleville Bulls have each been suspended for 15 games. These suspensions follow recent social networking activity that has come to the League’s attention. This most inappropriate and concerning activity contravenes the League’s social networking policy and a number of other policies including Respect in Sport (Harassment and Abuse) and diversity.

The OHL takes issues related to respect, diversity and harassment very seriously. The social networking conduct displayed by these players goes against what the League stands for and serves to highlight a sense of entitlement that we, as a League, have worked hard to try to eliminate. We believe these suspensions, going forward, will reinforce to our players that all activity, be it in person, on the ice or online, must be in keeping with our policies. These events further illustrate that the League and our teams must continually work with our players to ensure they understand and appreciate our social networking policy. The League will also look to our current programs, outlined in our Players First Guide, to see where improvements may be made in terms of communications and respect for others.

Marchment, 19, is a forward for the Belleville Bulls and a Los Angeles Kings sixth-round draft pick (157th overall in 2014). He took to Twitter to apologize:

Betzold, also 19, is an undrafted forward playing for the Peterborough Petes. He also came forward to express regret for his “unacceptable private comments.”

If you want to know what was said (warning, it’s ugly and the comments are not particularly safe for work), Flyers Nation’s Brady Trettenero has a screen shot of some of the their unsightly exchanges.

Jewels from the Crown provided a take on this situation that is absolutely worth reading.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins