Friday, March 26, 2004

Mr. Bettman, CNN on line one, Mr. Bettman, Mr. Bettman?

Not content to find the good name of hockey trashed in the American media for violent incidents on the ice, the NHL now finds itself in the midst of a sex scandal of all things.

The now ex-captain of the Ranger City Skaters, a cheerleader type of group that appears at Ranger games (who knew the NHL had cheerleaders!) has filed a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing an un-named Madison Square Garden executive with Sexual harassment. She also claims that she was fired because of she was warning other members of the Skaters of the executives intentions.

Courtney Prince, 25 and an original member of the Skaters has been making the media rounds the last few days telling her story to anyone giving her the time of day. Friday’s appearance was on CNN’s prime time program Anderson Cooper 360, where Prince, fellow skater Amea Smith and lawyer Katherine Peratis, told the CNN audience stories of MSG executives pressuring the Skater Girls to attend bars with them. Many of whom were only 18 years of age; Peratis suggests they attended as they were afraid to lose their jobs. She also questioned the morality of married MSG execs taking young girls out on “dates”.

Ms. Prince also accused MSG executives of boorish behavior, suggesting some girls go for breast enhancements and cutting off the complimentary cookies for the team due to perceived weight problems. She also said that the execs were rude to the team members suggesting that some of them were ugly.

Needless to say with the Rangers nowhere the playoffs, the New York papers are running wild with the story. This is probably a good thing for Glen Sather but not necessarily for Gary Bettman. He’s already got Colin Campbell handling the on ice stuff; this backroom material needs an avowed arbitrator of morality. Perhaps he can get Dr. Laura to take a few hours out of her day to sit in on a hearing. She’ll no doubt be able to peel the paint off the walls of the executive offices at the Gardens.

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