PHF ENHANCES RESPECT, SAFETY, INCLUSION INITIATIVES FOR MEMBERS
Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) has set the culture bar high by adding Respect Group and RealResponse resources to league and staff mandatory background checks by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) creating mechanisms for an inclusive and safe work environment. At a time when Dana White, President of the UFC, slapped his wife Anna back on New Year’s Eve while in Mexico. And Claudio Reyna sent messages to U.S. Soccer executives during the recent World Cup threatening to expose sensitive details about USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s past, according to ESPN. Added to a yearlong investigation into ‘ongoing misconduct’ by more than half the NWSL clubs after reports of sexual coercion and harassment by coaches were pushed aside by the league, executives and US Soccer for too long. All together, it makes these stories’ not only heartfelt for the people and families involved but also for professional women hockey players, the coaching staffs and front office personnel, that may need safe outlets to report similar abuses. Men’s hockey finally began to crack down on long standing rumors of sexual abuse and grooming of boys then earlier this year, a Hockey Canada scandal was uncovered involving a female. The same and other types of abuses are logically happening to girl’s that play hockey as well as adult females that play recreationally to professionally, in the PHF and other leagues. This is why the multi-year partnerships with Respect Group and RealResponse adds safeguards for each organization and the league to reinforce safety barriers while adding checks and balances to help create a healthier and ultimately, safer workplace for each player and staff member. The Sports Techie community blog gives our virtual, one-handed applause to the PHF for their proactive measures to combat abuses while providing anonymous reporting capabilities aimed to protect from bullying, harassment and abuse through improved accountability, training and education. Disney owns the UFC. What will they do next with high-profile White? Because, the PHF is showing the way by changing the future now with the support of Respect Group, RealResponse and NCSI to further their commitment to workplace health, respect, safety, and inclusivity, also supported by the league’s ongoing relationship with Athlete Ally and Chris Mosier.
“The entire PHF community should be an environment that is healthy, respectful, safe, and inclusive, and these important initiatives help us take essential steps to further that commitment,” said Reagan Carey, PHF Commissioner. “As leaders who are deeply invested in growing the game, it is our responsibility to develop a culture that exemplifies our values, and one where we continue enacting positive change by prioritizing training, education, prevention, reporting, and accountability.”
Respect Group BAHD
Respect Group is designed to enable victims and observers alike to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination (BAHD) through interactive, online training courses. Wayne McNeil and former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy founded the company in 2004. Respect Group continues to provide programming and training to sports organizations, schools, and workplaces with a goal of eliminating BAHD and inspiring a global culture of respect. All PHF members, to include the Board of Governors, front office personnel, team staff, and players are now required to be ‘Respect Certified’ by completing the 90-minute Respect in the Workplace online training program.
“Our commitment to improving hockey culture and preventing BAHD behavior within society continues with critical partnerships like this. By providing good people with tools and knowledge makes them better and helps organizations thrive,” said Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group. “The leadership of Reagan Carey and the work the PHF is doing to advocate for their athletes, above everything else, is exemplary. We applaud these significant efforts to grow the game in a way that’s safe and inclusive for all.”
RealResponse is dedicated to equipping athletic organizations with a tool to promote accountability and trust. Founded in 2015 by NCAA student-athlete David Chadwick, RealResponse reaches over 200,000 athletes, coaches, administrators, and staff through partnerships with more than 120 collegiate institutions, multiple NFL teams, and athletic organizations like the NWSL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the NFL Players Association, USA Swimming, USA Gymnastics and other NGBs.
The technology company uses surveys, real-time reporting, and a comprehensive documentation repository to provide a safe space for athletes and league members to share feedback, questions, and concerns with their administration that can inspire change. The RealResponse system allows for two-way communication in real-time between PHF members and league leaders while protecting the reporter who is able to submit feedback anonymously. This will be their first partnership in professional hockey.
“The work Reagan Carey and her team have done in the past year to quickly and effectively ramp up the services offered to the elite women’s athletes of the PHF is admirable, and we are proud to be part of this latest expansion,” said David Chadwick, Founder and CEO of RealResponse. “Our platform has been extremely effective with leagues in helping not just identify, but prevent issues that sometimes fly under the radar and can derail success on every level. We are confident that this partnership will aid everyone in women’s hockey, from the players and the coaches to the staff and executives, as the PHF continues to rise.”
NCSI is a leading provider of background checks, helping organizations minimize their liability and meet strict legal mandates since 2005. Driven by the goal of protecting vulnerable populations from harm, NCSI was the trusted background check provider for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and serves thousands of organizations from youth sports to national governing bodies.
“The PHF is taking important steps to cultivate and maintain a positive workplace environment, which is something that all athletes value immensely,” said Brianna Decker, PHF Team and Player Development Advisor. “Initiatives like this that elevate the safety and well-being of PHF players above all else is another layer to the strong foundation we’re proud to be building for professional women’s hockey.”
Visit Respect Group, RealResponse and National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) for more information.
Sports Techie, the PHF 2022/23 season is underway. To take the time, effort and leadership to add this trifecta of reporting components to create a more harmonious and safe league while in-season is what holistic thinking sport leagues and businesses must do to shine the light on the issues, as well as to provide proven solutions going forward.
This is my first-time covering Respect Group and the NCSI, however, we’ve been following the business development initiatives of RealResponse and the PHF for a minute as they say down here in the South.
Clemson University became the first DI school to go all in with RealResponse’s reporting platform.
Programs like the upcoming PHF All-Star Weekend in Toronto and the upcoming game between the Connecticut Whale and Montreal Force hosted at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ UMPC Lemieux Sports Complex are examples of exciting events fans and players can enjoy representing women in sport.
Pay attention to what the NWSL, U.S. Soccer and Disney/UFC do next to combat BAHD because the PHF is guiding them and others through these digital partnerships meant to foster a safer environment.
Here is to a healthy New Year to all our readers and followers around the globe, no matter your gender.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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