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Armstrong vs Mars incident


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On 10/29/2021 at 10:39 AM, sutton said:

Absolutely disgusting display from Armstrong fans last night at the Belmont complex. Mars has a female goaltender, last night chants coming from the student section of "she's a wh*re", references to tampons, and sexual harassment all took place.  The officials, as well as Armstrong board members, sat back and let this happen and did nothing.  Not a single spectator thrown out.  How this can happen is beyond me.  Mars goalie was in tears during the ice cut, visible even in the stands across the ice.  Unfathomable that this was allowed to happen and nothing was done and it was allowed to continue the entire game.  Chants are heard plain as day on the livebarn feed, as well As on the broadcast on boxcast.tv, these officials Zmenkowski and Trego should absolutely be reprimanded for allowing this to occur.

 

 

as someone who was at that game, and also wishes to stay unknown despite not joining the derogatory and unsportsmanlike chants, i can confirm it was not the entire student section. there was a select few who would start it and few that would join but at LEAST 60% of the people or students in that corner were not participating in the sexist remarks and rightfully believe they do not deserve to be in the game nor expected them when we walked in that door. i can speak on behalf of the majority that were silent during these moments and say we are very embarrassed and cannot believe it got that far, i myself even attempted to message the goalie on instagram apologizing for those who were audible. we deserve to be punished and the referees reprimanded in some sort, but i do ask to understand that most of us, ESPECIALLY those who play hockey away from the team on the ice, recognized that it was ridiculous. 

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38 minutes ago, unknown said:

as someone who was at that game, and also wishes to stay unknown despite not joining the derogatory and unsportsmanlike chants, i can confirm it was not the entire student section. there was a select few who would start it and few that would join but at LEAST 60% of the people or students in that corner were not participating in the sexist remarks and rightfully believe they do not deserve to be in the game nor expected them when we walked in that door. i can speak on behalf of the majority that were silent during these moments and say we are very embarrassed and cannot believe it got that far, i myself even attempted to message the goalie on instagram apologizing for those who were audible. we deserve to be punished and the referees reprimanded in some sort, but i do ask to understand that most of us, ESPECIALLY those who play hockey away from the team on the ice, recognized that it was ridiculous. 

Help identify the perpetrators.  

Story on Channel 11 tonight.

Post-Gazette article

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/hsother/2021/11/01/Vulgar-sexual-chants-Mars-female-hockey-goalie-Armstrong-students-Kittanning-Pennsylvania-Interscholastic-Hockey-League/stories/202111010125?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1635814700

 

Edited by my3sons
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6 hours ago, Michael Cominos said:
I feel it is necessary for me to speak up on this forum and offer my apologies to the entire Western Pennsylavania Hockey Community, the Mars School District Community, the Mars Area School District and the hockey team itself for the behavior of our student section Thursday night. 
 
Since we first heard of these behaviors as school adminstrators we have been in contact with the owner/operator of the venue in which the game occured, as well as our local president expressing our displeasure for this behavior as well as the lack of action taken on the security officers’ part as well as the arena management. They agreed that more should have been done.
 
We have reached out and discussed this incident with the administration at Mars High School to offer our aplogogies not only to them but mostly to offer our apologies to the young lady that was ridiculed. The school adminstration stated that they appreicated our efforts in this regard. 
 
We have been in contact with the PIHL and have been part of banning our students from attending any further games until a point in time in which the PIHL feels we have taken enough steps to ensure apporiate behavior. We will respect any decision they make and will be supportive in any way in which we can.  Ironically, we are in the process of creating and implementing a sportsmanship program within our school to serve as an educational opportunity for our students. Unfortunately, we were not fast enough in the implementation of this program. 
 
We are still trying to identify the students from the video to take disciplinary action. The bottom line is we do not condone these actions from any of our students and will look to take appropriate disciplinary actions as a school. 
 
This is certainly a mess. We are embarrassed and working hard to change the behaviors and ensure what happened Thursday night never hapens again. 
 
Mike Cominos
Principal
 

Good on you for addressing this!

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I'm glad to hear that the young lady that was targeted is handling things well now. I doubt that the trauma that she felt that night had anything to do with the details of the chants. She knows who she is and didn't deserve to be the subject of such sexist remarks. I suspect her sadness was rooted in the feeling that this is the scary world that I will have to participate in going forward. It should be the focus of the 90 some percent of Americans that detest this behavior to condemn it and punish those responsible for it. Make her realize that good people have her back and the bad people will have less and less power in the future. It's hard to imagine something positive coming from this, but perhaps a no tolerance policy for such behavior will be the result, and make youth sports more enjoyable for both players and spectators. Keep your head up young lady. Karma (and hopefully others) will come down hard on the haters.

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It’s great news that the young goalie is doing well, she is obviously a special person to handle this so well.   Suspending fans from games is a nice easy start.  It will be interesting to see how PIHL revolves this mess.  This seems to be bigger than slapping fans on the wrist.  

How would the WPIAL handle this if it occurred at an girls volleyball game or a girls tennis match?     Have there been similar incidents?  

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8 hours ago, Michael Cominos said:
I feel it is necessary for me to speak up on this forum and offer my apologies to the entire Western Pennsylavania Hockey Community, the Mars School District Community, the Mars Area School District and the hockey team itself for the behavior of our student section Thursday night. 
 
Since we first heard of these behaviors as school adminstrators we have been in contact with the owner/operator of the venue in which the game occured, as well as our local president expressing our displeasure for this behavior as well as the lack of action taken on the security officers’ part as well as the arena management. They agreed that more should have been done.
 
We have reached out and discussed this incident with the administration at Mars High School to offer our aplogogies not only to them but mostly to offer our apologies to the young lady that was ridiculed. The school adminstration stated that they appreicated our efforts in this regard. 
 
We have been in contact with the PIHL and have been part of banning our students from attending any further games until a point in time in which the PIHL feels we have taken enough steps to ensure apporiate behavior. We will respect any decision they make and will be supportive in any way in which we can.  Ironically, we are in the process of creating and implementing a sportsmanship program within our school to serve as an educational opportunity for our students. Unfortunately, we were not fast enough in the implementation of this program. 
 
We are still trying to identify the students from the video to take disciplinary action. The bottom line is we do not condone these actions from any of our students and will look to take appropriate disciplinary actions as a school. 
 
This is certainly a mess. We are embarrassed and working hard to change the behaviors and ensure what happened Thursday night never hapens again. 
 
Mike Cominos
Principal
 

I appreciate your condolences now; after a major issue…but this has been a major issue at that arena with your school for a long time. Hopefully your organization will pay better attention going forward to who you have representing you. 

Edited by BeaverFalls
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Armstrong was able to take their entire team intact this evening and beat Butler 10-3, but it’s okay because the principal made sure none of the students got into the rink…In Valencia.
Go Riverhawks!

Edited by sutton
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21 hours ago, Michael Cominos said:
We have reached out and discussed this incident with the administration at Mars High School to offer our aplogogies not only to them but mostly to offer our apologies to the young lady that was ridiculed. 
 
Mike Cominos
Principal
Sir, I appreciate you coming on here with an update, but have to take offense at what you term as being “ridiculed.” That was not what happened and I believe you are trying to downplay what any police officer or HR department of any modern company would call Sexual Harassment. This was not a case of boys being boys making fun of the goalie, this is a legally actionable offense. Bullying and sexual harassment should never be allowed, condoned, or tolerated as it was this night. I’m amazed NO ONE, NO ONE, did anything to stop this!
Edited by aCountryVegan
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Who is ultimately responsible for assuring that these children have a safe venue to play?

Rink Manager?  Owner?

Belmont website lists Gary Montebell as the Director and Darla Toy as the Supervisor of the rink  

it appears the rink is owned by Armstrong county and their website lists Don Myers is the Chairman.

This kind of behavior seems to have been going on for a long time at this rink.  Channel 11 did a nice job reporting it but we’ll see if those responsible feel any heat from it   Has the rink or county issued any any statements   

Was there really a security guard on duty or was it an blowup dummy as a cost saving initiative?  

 

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A big part of high school hockey is taunting the away goalie.  I played at Belmont for years and they were brutal.

 

thing is I used it as motivation.  While yes the fans should be ashamed of themselves, but a big part of playing goalie is you can’t let these things bother you.

 

nobody should get special treatment.  Her home fans should come out in droves to support her, and the next away game she should be taunted.  It’s a big part of playing goalie. 
 

the only reason why this is a story is because it worked.  I’ve been called terrible things by so many kids back when I played.  I lived to shut them up with a glove save.

 

armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, but you can’t let this get to you if you’re between the pipes.  Armstrong parents should be ashamed of their kids, hopefully the next away game they taunt her with more class.

 

it’s Belmont, it’s happened to every goalie who’s played there… you can’t give any goalie special treatment- it’s unfair.  Armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, and hopefully she’ll go in next time and stop every shot!

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Look at all the clowns on here blaming the officials. It’s no wonder we have a shortage. So the officials have to worry about the players, coaches & 100’s of fans/students too?  Even when there’s paid security there?  Nah.  Imagine WPIAL football refs addressing the student section on Friday night lol. This is on the Armstrong parents & Belmont security. Period. 

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9 hours ago, Goalie said:

A big part of high school hockey is taunting the away goalie.  I played at Belmont for years and they were brutal.

 

thing is I used it as motivation.  While yes the fans should be ashamed of themselves, but a big part of playing goalie is you can’t let these things bother you.

 

nobody should get special treatment.  Her home fans should come out in droves to support her, and the next away game she should be taunted.  It’s a big part of playing goalie. 
 

the only reason why this is a story is because it worked.  I’ve been called terrible things by so many kids back when I played.  I lived to shut them up with a glove save.

 

armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, but you can’t let this get to you if you’re between the pipes.  Armstrong parents should be ashamed of their kids, hopefully the next away game they taunt her with more class.

 

it’s Belmont, it’s happened to every goalie who’s played there… you can’t give any goalie special treatment- it’s unfair.  Armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, and hopefully she’ll go in next time and stop every shot!

Wow, just wow.

Calling a female goalie, a female period..........a whore is plain wrong.  Taunting is one thing, but you said and I quote - "the only reason why this is a story is because it worked."   So you are now saying because the taunting got to her she is now mentally weak?  Sorry if this gets me banned from this site, but you good sir are a clown.

It's called being a human being, pal.  Check into it someday.

But it is good to see you had the mental fortitude to get through taunting back when you played.  Clearly you are the strong one here.  

Edited by fafa fohi
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11 minutes ago, fafa fohi said:

Wow, just wow.

Calling a female goalie, a female period..........a whore is plain wrong.  Taunting is one thing, but you said and I quote - "the only reason why this is a story is because it worked."   So you are now saying because the taunting got to her she is now mentally weak?  Sorry if this gets me banned from this site, but you good sir are a complete jackass.

It's called being a human being, pal.  Check into it someday.

But it is good to see you had the mental fortitude to get through taunting back when you played.  Clearly you are the strong one here.  

Couldn't have said it any better.  Clearly this "Goalie" has no class!  No way, No how can you say this is OK on any level. Goalie go back and read the moms posts. I guarantee you this young lady is handling this better than we are and probably just wants it to go away.

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8 hours ago, Goalie said:

A big part of high school hockey is taunting the away goalie.  I played at Belmont for years and they were brutal.

 

thing is I used it as motivation.  While yes the fans should be ashamed of themselves, but a big part of playing goalie is you can’t let these things bother you.

 

nobody should get special treatment.  Her home fans should come out in droves to support her, and the next away game she should be taunted.  It’s a big part of playing goalie. 
 

the only reason why this is a story is because it worked.  I’ve been called terrible things by so many kids back when I played.  I lived to shut them up with a glove save.

 

armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, but you can’t let this get to you if you’re between the pipes.  Armstrong parents should be ashamed of their kids, hopefully the next away game they taunt her with more class.

 

it’s Belmont, it’s happened to every goalie who’s played there… you can’t give any goalie special treatment- it’s unfair.  Armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, and hopefully she’ll go in next time and stop every shot!

Um....no. Taunting based on sex and race is done. It is sexual harassment. Could be defined as a hate crime depending on what was said. No one is saying that students can't taunt a goalie. There is a line, however, and it was crossed. There are a lot of things that were done in the day. The focus should not be on her reaction to what happened, as that is entirely irrelevant. We want this crap out of the game. This type of reaction is why women and minorities have felt excluded from sport. Don't defend bad behavior.

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No one is saying that students can't taunt a goalie.    
 

it seems to me that taunting in any youth sport is wrong, even if it is a goalie.  Maybe acceptable at the college or professional level.    When I saw the security guard remove the student section at the Baierl Ice rink I asked him what they did or said that was so bad.  He responded that fans can cheer for their team but cannot say negative comments and target the opposing players or the refs.   It seemed like a good guideline that all rinks should utilize for youth sports.  

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3 minutes ago, I am not Jim B said:

No one is saying that students can't taunt a goalie.    
 

it seems to me that taunting in any youth sport is wrong, even if it is a goalie.  Maybe acceptable at the college or professional level.    When I saw the security guard remove the student section at the Baierl Ice rink I asked him what they did or said that was so bad.  He responded that fans can cheer for their team but cannot say negative comments and target the opposing players or the refs.   It seemed like a good guideline that all rinks should utilize for youth sports.  

It's definitely a slippery slope, what is an acceptable taunt. Demanding good sportsmanship sounds good to me. I hate being in the stands anymore, listening to parents and kids be negative.

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WARNING FOR LANGUAGE.

I understand this is a sensitive subject and we are all (mostly) adults here, BUT there is a strict language policy on this forum. I am not going to go through and mark every post I see with foul language, but moving forward, if I see it or its reported you will be marked for it. 

This subject has obviously brought a lot of new posters on to this site - please help me by continuing to report any unsavory posts. 

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All this outrage and news articles, and absolutely nothing mentioned that Armstrong was able to take their entire team and play last night and beat Butler.  Not a single player, coach, administrator was punished, it's like nothing happened for them.  You watch the league delay this until the outrage dies down and it'll just fade away.

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10 hours ago, my3sons said:

It would be nice if Armstrong finishes their investigation and suspend the football players involved before their WPIAL playoff game this weekend but we know how hard it is to be thorough until they lose.  

Like TJ not reporting covid cases for the football playoffs ? 😂😳

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18 minutes ago, sutton said:

All this outrage and news articles, and absolutely nothing mentioned that Armstrong was able to take their entire team and play last night and beat Butler.  Not a single player, coach, administrator was punished, it's like nothing happened for them.  You watch the league delay this until the outrage dies down and it'll just fade away.

I'm not sure why you think the outrage should be focused toward the Armstrong Hockey team?  Why should a player or coach be punished? Do you think it was their job to police the crowd?  

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10 hours ago, Goalie said:

the only reason why this is a story is because it worked.  I’ve been called terrible things by so many kids back when I played.  I lived to shut them up with a glove save.

it’s Belmont, it’s happened to every goalie who’s played there… you can’t give any goalie special treatment- it’s unfair.  Armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, and hopefully she’ll go in next time and stop every shot!

Worked? She made 35 saves despite the abuse. This goalie is plenty tough.

This post is so off base it isn't worth talking about, but I'll say this: what we are talking about here is way beyond chanting a goalie's name. If you don't see how this is out of bounds, there's no helping you.

Edited by Lifelongbender
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10 hours ago, Goalie said:

A big part of high school hockey is taunting the away goalie.  I played at Belmont for years and they were brutal.

 

thing is I used it as motivation.  While yes the fans should be ashamed of themselves, but a big part of playing goalie is you can’t let these things bother you.

 

nobody should get special treatment.  Her home fans should come out in droves to support her, and the next away game she should be taunted.  It’s a big part of playing goalie. 
 

the only reason why this is a story is because it worked.  I’ve been called terrible things by so many kids back when I played.  I lived to shut them up with a glove save.

 

armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, but you can’t let this get to you if you’re between the pipes.  Armstrong parents should be ashamed of their kids, hopefully the next away game they taunt her with more class.

 

it’s Belmont, it’s happened to every goalie who’s played there… you can’t give any goalie special treatment- it’s unfair.  Armstrong should be ashamed of themselves, and hopefully she’ll go in next time and stop every shot!

It appears someone from the armstrong board has entered the conversation. This is the mentality of their school and Pahl teams there. “Old school hockey “ it’s the culture in that area. I once shared a story on here about a little kid (5’5 or so) jumping up in the air to cross check a bigger kid in the head. Nothing was called. That little kid played for the river hawks. 

 

look, I’m pretty old, even I know that wasn’t taunting. That was verbal abuse of a sexual nature. No place for it. Taunting is chanting the goalies name when they give up a goal, the occasional  “you suck” getting yelled by some kid. But guess what ? Yelling you suck these days is starting to cross the line. Times changed. The game changed. Adapt. That’s what intelligent people do. 

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