Sports Habs' sponsors satisfied with team owner's apology for drafting Logan Mailloux
Logan Mailloux was surprised Canadiens decided to draft him
The morning after being unexpectedly selected by the Canadiens in the first round of the NHL Draft, Logan Mailloux spoke with the media on a Zoom conference Saturday. The 18-year-old defenceman with the London Knights had asked that no NHL teams draft him this year after he had shown teammates a photo of himself engaged in a sexual act with an 18-year-old woman last year while playing for SK Lejon in Sweden. Mailloux was 17 at the time and the photo was taken without the woman’s consent. Mailloux was ultimately charged with defamation and offensive photography in Sweden and was fined approximately US$1,650.
MONTREAL — While a Montreal group that helps victims of sexual assault continues to criticize the Montreal Canadiens' decision to draft a player convicted of a sex offence in Sweden, sponsors that earlier expressed concerns say they are sticking with the team.
Rotisserie chicken company Groupe St-Hubert and financial services firm Desjardins Group said on Thursday they are satisfied with an apology issued a day earlier by team owner Geoff Molson.
The corporate sponsors had publicly questioned the Habs' decision to select 18-year-old Logan Mailloux last Friday in the opening round of the NHL draft. The companies announced their decision today to continue their association with the hockey team.
Four of Canadiens' nine picks at NHL Draft are from the QMJHL
After selecting only two players from the QMJHL in the previous five NHL Drafts, the Canadiens picked four of them on Saturday. The Canadiens had nine picks overall at this year’s draft. The Canadiens picked Riley Kidney, a centre with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the second round; William Trudeau, a defenceman with the Charlottetown Islanders in the fourth round; Joshua Roy, a right-winger with the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the fifth round; and Xavier Simoneau, a centre with Charlottetown in the sixth round. “They fell into place,” Canadiens assistant GM Trevor Timmins said when asked why the team drafted so many players from the Quebec junior league.
"We appreciate the fact Mr. Molson took responsibility for the decision and apologized for it," St-Hubert spokeswoman Josée Vaillancourt said.
Desjardins said in a statement it is also satisfied with the team's response.
"We contacted the Canadiens on Monday to share our discomfort with this decision," Desjardins spokeswoman Valérie Lamarre said. "We are satisfied with the sincerity of the comments expressed by Geoff Molson."
For Trêves pour Elles, a Montreal-based non-profit group that fights sexual violence, the fact the Montreal Canadiens are not backtracking on their draft pick is a mistake.
"The message remains the same, that the well-being and safety of women are worth less than a man's career," said Genevieve Brochu, a social worker with the group.
Canadiens' pick Logan Mailloux has lots of work to do off ice: expert
Dr. Walter S. DeKeseredy believes in giving people second chances and that includes Logan Mailloux, the Canadiens’ first-round pick at this year’s NHL Draft. Mailloux, an 18-year-old defenceman, released a statement early last week saying he had renounced himself from Friday night’s 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.
Video: Montreal Canadiens criticized for drafting Logan Mailloux, player who violated woman’s privacy (cbc.ca)
The Habs' draft choice was roundly criticized because Mailloux had been fined by Swedish authorities last year after admitting to two charges related to sharing, without her consent, a photo of a woman performing a sexual act.
Molson's statement said Mailloux's actions "do not reflect the values'' of the team, adding that the Canadiens had no intention of harming the victim when they selected him, and they are committed to educating people about sexual consent. He said Mailloux would not take part in rookie and training camps this year.
Groupe St-Hubert said in a statement the company is confident the Canadiens organization will take action to raise awareness about sexual misconduct.
"This will hopefully bring some positive changes to the table," Vaillancourt said. "We continue to disapprove of acts of abuse and reprehensible behaviour, no matter what status a person may have in society."
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters on Wednesday he supported Molson's statement, promising the team's actions would speak louder than words. Bergevin, however, declined to describe Mailloux's actions as a crime.
In Canada, non-consensual publication of an intimate image is an offence under the Criminal Code and, in the most serious cases, is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years.
"It's a crime,” Brochu said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "Beating around the bush and using expressions like 'serious mistake' or 'youthful mistake' contributes to the trivialization and culture of rape."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 29, 2021.
— With files from Clara Descurninges
Virginie Ann, The Canadian Press
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.