The Ice Garden has been fully aware of the attacks leveled at one of its contributors, as well as fans and employees of the National Women’s Hockey League.
We know separate members of TIG staff have spoken publicly in support of Eleni Demestihas, but we would like as a group to unequivocally voice our complete commitment to supporting her and anyone else who has been harassed, attacked, or otherwise harmed by the actions of people who are not and will never be on the side of inclusion, diversity, and human decency.
Eleni has long been a valued voice in the TIG community. Her humor, intelligence, and passion for the game and for the NWHL, in particular, make the harassment she has received even more disturbing. Those who target her know nothing of the impact she has and the drive she possesses to help grow the game of women’s hockey. But we do.
In addition, we voice our support for anyone else who stands up to any toxic culture within the sport we all love. If anything, the NWHL opening weekend has proven that women’s hockey fans are capable of being open, welcoming, diverse, and principled in that they will not allow anyone who lacks those values to harm them or their peers. That is what a community should do. That is a community we want to be a part of.
TIG resolves never to be a place that harbors racism; queer-, a-, or transphobia; sexism; or any other kind of bigotry. We will not stand for it, and we will always endeavor to highlight those voices who are so often overlooked in the sports community.
The following is NWHL commissioner Tyler Tumminia’s statement in full:
“On behalf of the NWHL, I would like to respond to the video posted last night by a media
platform about the NWHL, investment, fan engagement and coverage. As Commissioner, my top priority is to protect, promote and reinforce the values of the NWHL and its players. First and foremost, we must remain inclusive and empowering for women. The success of our movement hinges on respect, opportunity, and a strong sense of connectedness across our players, teams, staff, fans, partners and avid supporters. Let’s keep the focus on our athletes and build on the momentum created in the first few exciting days here in Lake Placid.
“There is no circumstance where it would be acceptable to call out many of the reporters, staff members and fans who have given so much to women’s hockey, especially knowing that these people could be targeted or harassed on social media.
“In this world of social media, I’m concerned about the impact of the video and the aftermath of it on members of the NWHL family. Together, we will do everything we can to work through it with open communication and transparency.
“Like every professional sports league, the NWHL has a formal application and review process for prospective owners and this will continue to be strictly adhered to. We have received inquiries from several groups interested in purchasing clubs, but the NWHL will not sell a club to anybody who is not fully supportive of this League’s values.”