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Canada Sponsors for Canadiens pushing back against Logan Mailloux draft pick

02:22  28 july  2021
02:22  28 july  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

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The backlash against the Montreal Canadiens for their controversial first round draft choice of Logan Mailloux keeps growing.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin looks on during first period NHL hockey action between the Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets in Montreal, Saturday, March 6, 2021. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin looks on during first period NHL hockey action between the Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets in Montreal, Saturday, March 6, 2021.

Some of the team's biggest sponsors are now speaking out, expressing their discomfort with the move to draft the 18-year-old Ontario native who was charged with defamation and the distribution of non-consensual offensive photography last year after taking and sharing a photo of himself and an 18-year-old girl engaged in a sexual act.

Stu Cowan: Canadiens should show concern for Logan Mailloux's victim

  Stu Cowan: Canadiens should show concern for Logan Mailloux's victim Logan Mailloux said he didn’t deserve to be selected at this year’s NHL Draft. The Canadiens — led by team owner/president Geoff Molson, general manager Marc Bergevin and assistant GM Trevor Timmins — thought otherwise and selected the 18-year-old defenceman in the first round (31st overall) Friday night. Mailloux released a statement Tuesday saying he had renounced himself from the draft, adding he hadn’t earned the privilege of being selected after secretly photographing an 18-year-old woman engaged in a sexual act with him while in Sweden last year and sharing the picture and her identity with his SK Lejon teammates.

Financial giant Desjardins Group told Global News it had contacted the franchise, asking for clarity from the team on why it chose to make such a polarizing decision that it did not support, especially after Mailloux released a statement asking not to be drafted in the 2021 NHL entry draft this year.

Read more: Trudeau ‘deeply disappointed’ after Habs draft Logan Mailloux despite sexual image charge

Iconic chicken chain St-Hubert BBQ, another of the team's major sponsors, said it was re-evaluating its advertisement with the Habs in light of the incident.

Other team advertisers such as La Cage Brasserie Sportive sports bar and pharmacy chain Jean-Coutu Group are also among the companies who have said they have expressed their concerns with the Canadiens' executives.

St-Hubert BBQ may ditch Canadiens after controversial draft choice

  St-Hubert BBQ may ditch Canadiens after controversial draft choice One of Quebec’s best-known companies is reflecting on whether to continue advertising with the Montreal Canadiens following the team’s controversial decision to draft Logan Mailloux. Mailloux, 18, asked that no NHL team draft him this year after it was revealed he had shown teammates a photo, taken without consent, of a young woman engaging in a sexual act with him while he was living in Sweden last year. “This choice surprised us, and we are evaluating if we’re going to continue our partnership with them,” said Josée Vaillancourt, the company’s director of public relations. “In 2021, with everything we have seen, with all the movements, we were actually surprised.

Read more: Politicians, advocates denounce Montreal Canadiens’ controversial Logan Mailloux draft pick

This comes after Justin Trudeau was the latest to join the politicians and advocates who denounced the Habs' choice to draft the defenceman, saying it trivializes sexual violence and women's safety.

"As a lifelong Habs fan, I must say i am deeply disappointed by the decision," Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday. "I think it was a lack of judgment by the organization. I think they have a lot of explaining to do to Montrealers and to fans right across the country."

Mailloux has admitted to sharing the photo and said he “deeply regrets” doing something so "stupid and irresponsible" and has been in therapy to better himself and understand the impact that his gesture had and will have on his victim for the rest of her life.

According to experts, victims of sexual cyber violence or revenge porn often experience trauma, shame, humiliation, stigmatization, depression and difficulty getting a job for the rest of their lives.

Trudeau says Canadiens' selection of Logan Mailloux shows 'lack of judgment'

  Trudeau says Canadiens' selection of Logan Mailloux shows 'lack of judgment' MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he's not happy with the Montreal Canadiens' draft selection of a player convicted of a sex-related offence. "As a lifelong Habs fan, I have to say I am deeply disappointed by the decision. I think it was a lack of judgment by the Canadiens organization," Trudeau told reporters in Moncton N.B. "I think they have a lot of explaining to do, to Montrealers and to fans from right across the country." The Canadiens chose Logan Mailloux in the first round of the NHL draft on July 23.

Read more: Montreal Canadiens select Logan Mailloux in 1st round, after player asks not to be drafted

"It's ironic that perpetrators generally walk away scot-free and it's the survivors who suffer dearly," said Dr. Walter Dekeseredy, director of the West Virginia University Research Center on Violence.

Experts have also warned that the move sends a clear societal signal that “collectively, we do not take these [acts] seriously.”

The teen was playing with the SK Lejon in Sweden during the 2020-21 season when he took and shared the non-consensual image.

He was charged and fined under Swedish law last December and ordered to pay just over $2,000.

Mailloux, who was 17 at the time of the incident, has since admitted to sharing the photo with his hockey teammates to impress them.

In Canada, the non-consensual publication of an intimate image is, in serious cases, an indictable offence punishable by imprisonment of up to five years.

Global News has reached out to the Montreal Canadiens for comment but the team did not comment at the time of publishing.

The Habs previously released a statement Sunday night defending its choice, calling Mailloux a “promising” player.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters Saturday that the gap between Mailloux and the next best player the Habs could have picked was too large to ignore and that he believes he would have been drafted by another team if the Canadiens hadn't picked him.

— with files from the Canadian Press and Dan Spector and Amanda Connolly, Global News

Video: Montreal Canadiens draft Logan Mailloux despite sexual misconduct controversy

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson finally addresses Mailloux draft pick .
It took five days, but Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson finally came forward Wednesday and addressed his team’s decision to select Logan Mailloux in the first round of the NHL Draft last Friday. The 18-year-old defenceman had released a statement last Tuesday saying he had renounced himself from the draft, adding he hadn’t earned and didn’t deserve the privilege of being selected after secretly photographing an 18-year-old woman engaged in a sexual act with him while in Sweden last year and sharing the picture and her identity with his SK Lejon teammates. Mailloux was charged with defamation and offensive photography and was fined approximately US$1,650.

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