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Bettman, NHL to create mandatory program to educate on diversity and inclusion

Last Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 8:42 pm MST

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF (660 NEWS) — Sweeping change for the National Hockey League in the wake of the Bill Peters scandal.

On Monday night, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced a new code of conduct policy for teams to follow and was taken aback by allegations against the former Flames head coach.

“The Bill Peters situation was a complete surprise,” Bettman said.

Bettman speaking in Pebble Beach, Calif., introduced the eventual creation of an annual mandatory program on counselling, consciousness-raising, education and training on diversity and inclusion.

“It will be required for all head coaches, minor league coaches — under NHL contract — assistant coaches, general managers and assistant general managers,” he added.

The training will focus on making sure locker rooms, training facilities, games and any other hockey-related activities are respectful.

“To ensure bystander intervention techniques, anti-harassment, anti-hazing, non-retaliation and anti-bullying best practises,” he stated.

The league is going to speak with the players association about creating a similar program for players.

Bettman also says the league will be creating a hotline where incidents can be reported anonymously.

“Where instances of inappropriate conduct connected to the NHL can be reported, either anonymously or for attribution for us to follow up,” Bettman added.

He says if any team is made aware of allegations of misconduct — they must immediately come forward or face severe punishment.

The commissioner also took time to address how the Flames handled the Peters scandal.

“Calgary’s response initially to Akim Aliu’s allegations and then the Carolina issue was timely, professional and appropriate,” Bettman said.

Bettman continued to add that whether an incident happened 10 years ago or last week, the answer must be the same — it is unacceptable.

Aliu also made a statement on Twitter following the announcement from the NHL: