The Canada Hockey Board’s interim director and president, Andrea Skinner, has resigned amid growing backlash over the organization’s handling of alleged sexual assaults, according to a news release. announced Saturday by the Hockey Board of Canada.
“I joined the Canadian Hockey Board in November 2020 as a volunteer. It is my strong commitment to making games safer, more accessible, inclusive and welcoming,” Skinner said in a statement.
“On reflection, it is clear to me from recent events that continuing to volunteer as Interim President or Director of the organization is no longer reasonable to me.”
Skinner resigned days after a congressional committee hearing on Tuesday, where she defended Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations. She only served as interim chair for about two months after former board chairman Michael Brind’Amour stepped down on August 6.
Her resignation marks the organization’s second major departure in recent months.
“I think it’s interesting to note that Andrea Skinner’s position as a volunteer and it raises some interesting questions,” TSN’s Rick Westhead told CTV National News on Saturday.
Westhead noted that Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith has also come under enormous pressure to step down.
“His position is a paid position,” Westhead said. “The question now with Andrea Skinner gone is who can negotiate a severance package for Scott Smith and his leadership team?”
Canadian hockey has been under a national microscope since May when it was revealed it had settled a lawsuit against a woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by eight players from the hockey team. 2018 national junior men’s hockey during a June gala event in London, Ont., that year.
Among other subsequent revelations was the entry of Hockey Canada, which charged underage hockey memberships to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.
In addition, Halifax police have been asked to investigate an allegation of sexually assaulting members of the men’s national team in 2003.
The federal government has frozen Hockey Canada funding and the organization has exhausted its funding, with brands such as Nike, Canadian Tire, Scotiabank and Tim Hortons having suspended their support.
With files from the Canadian Press