Frost trial raises issue of sexual behaviour among hockey players
Claims by one of David Frost's alleged victims that hockey players have group sex seems to have validity, although his assertion that it's a common form of team bonding is a matter of debate.
A former Canadian Hockey League executive and former major junior player say they've heard gossip about players engaging in group sex, but don't believe it's rampant in the sport.
"It's nowhere near as common as it was made out to be (at the trial)," said the former CHL executive speaking on condition of anonymity. "You hear the odd story but it's certainly not something that I've ever heard is used by teams or players for initiation or anything like that."
Frost, the ex-coach of the now-defunct Ontario junior A Quinte Hawks, was on trial in Napanee, Ont., for four counts of sexual exploitation relating to two of his former players. He pleaded not guilty.
Closing arguments were Monday and the judge is expected to deliver his decision Nov. 28.
One of the alleged victims, who cannot be identified, testified that Quinte Hawks players engaged in group sex and that it's something he found to be common later in his career.
"It's like a bonding thing with your friends or teammates," he said.
The former CHL executive believes the player said this to protect Frost.
But Laura Robinson, who spent six years researching the book "Crossing The Line" which examined the issue of violence and sexual assault in junior hockey, says group sex is part of the junior hockey culture.
"I don't want to paint all the players with the same brush, but I do think there's a culture, and a very powerful culture in junior hockey and it probably exists in other sports," said Robinson, who has been attending the Frost trial.
"It is about watching one another. It's all about showing the other guys in the room that they're a guy."
The girl is an object, Robinson added.
"She is the stage on which they perform for one another," she said.
A former Western Hockey League player says he's never witnessed or been involved in group sex, but has heard talk of it.
"I've heard of it before when I was younger during practices in the summer," he said."There might be a girl or multiple girls. I think when that happens, guys tell stories after and maybe that's where the bonding comes in."
Ian Larocque, a former Quinte player who testified at the trial, told the court that group sex is common among hockey players and that he has had sexual encounters involving one girl and as many as five or six other males.
After his stint in Quinte, Larocque went on to play for seven or eight years in various leagues. According to him, group sex was not limited to the Hawks.
"It goes on quite a bit," he said.
What does the female get out of this situation? Not much, said Robinson.
"Those girls believed the myth that `Next time, it will be better. Next time, he'll want me without (the others). He'll want me just for me,"' she said.
The former CHL executive said the notion that girls are eager to be with hockey players "is absolutely true" and compared it to wanting to date the high school quarterback.
If hockey does have orgiastic tendencies, it wouldn't be the only sport. The British press gleefully reports the sexual habits of soccer players and has a term for a woman or women having sex with multiple players, which is "roasting."
A Manchester United Christmas party last year made national headlines and police investigated an allegation of rape, although no charges were laid.
Winnipeg-based sports psychologist Cal Botterill says group sex in sport is a form of hazing.
"I think it's very much like the hazing phenomenon in terms of people doing things they wouldn't normally do or get drawn into. They think they have to do it to be part of the group," Botterill.
"When you look at the various forms of hazing in colleges around the country in multiple sports, and in the military, whatever, it's just loaded with stories with this kind of nonsense going on, promoted by participants of the cult or whatever they want to call themselves, that this is part of a rite of passage.
"Underlying the whole issue, probably, is insecurity. People who are insecure are very vulnerable to predators or pressures like this because they want so badly to belong."
York University sports sociologist Greg Malszecki says an athlete in a contact sport told him of a practice called "ugly pig" in which teammates each contribute $10 and the player that finds what they consider an unattractive woman who will have sex with the group gets the money.
"That's not a healthy practice for people who are entering adulthood," Malszecki said. "I think there's a lot of dysfunctional team dynamics. Prisons, the military, sports teams create a weird sexual dynamic."
- With files from Canadian Press hockey reporter Chris Johnston