Human rights advocates took a shot at improving gender equity in amateur sports Wednesday night, an event that was prompted by misogynistic comments made by the head of Windsor minor hockey.
The Windsor and District Labour Council hosted its Promising Practices in Sport event at the Ciociaro Club. The session included a list of speakers and a brainstorm session as more than 100 people pitched ways to improve amateur sport in the region.
"We can do better in building a human rights culture that is respectful of people's dignity in sports and elsewhere," said Niki Lundquist, associate counsel with Unifor's legal and human rights department.
Lundquist gave a talk about the general overview of human rights laws in Ontario and how they impact sports organizations. Other topics covered at the event included gender equity in sport and how to affect change in sports organizations.
Labour council president Brian Hogan said the forum is "an offshoot of Windsor Minor Hockey Association's story," referencing comments made by WMHA president Dean Lapierre.
Lapierre, who also attended Wednesday's event, was temporarily suspended from his position in January after he wrote a Facebook post describing Canadian participants in the Women's March on Washington as "dumb bitches."
The post was investigated by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, but Lapierre was reinstated to his position recently.
"I used the wrong words. If they wanted to march I should have left it alone," said Lapierre at the time of his reinstatement.
Shortly after Lapierre's reinstatement, protesters rallied against the move outside the minor hockey association's annual general meeting.
There will also be specific changes to the minor hockey association, according to Dave Pickford, the group's vice president of travel.
"It was important for Windsor Minor to be here," Pickford told CBC. "We're taking a really strong, hard look at our internal policies and procedures and we've got draft policies in place as it has to deal with social media, how to deal with abuse and harassment and bullying."
Pickford expects a new set of policies and procedures will be in place by the start of the fall season.