By Julie DiCaro–
(CBS) Sometime in February, Blackhawks prospect Garret Ross was charged under Illinois’ “revenge porn” statute for allegedly disseminating a sexual photo of a woman last August, according to reports. Ross was scratched from the lineup last weekend for AHL Rockford in what was called a “coach’s decision,” according to Chris Block. As recently as Friday night, though, Ross was actively playing for the IceHogs.
If you’re curious as to why a player charged with such a heinous crime continued to represent the Blackhawks organization on the ice for a month after charges were filed, you haven’t paid much attention to how the NHL has operated when it comes to players charged and/or accused of crimes against women. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane was never charged with sexual assault, but during a months-long investigation by Erie County District Attorney, he remained front and center when it came to representing the organization, once kicking field goals and posing with the Stanley Cup during a Bears preseason game. The Blackhawks even announced a Kane bobblehead night in the midst of the investigation.
The Blackhawks, though, are far from alone in being tone-deaf to female fans. Back in 2014, Kings defenseman Slava Voynov practiced with his team despite being charged with felony domestic battery and being indefinitely suspended by the league. The Kings characterized Voynov’s skate as a “mistake” and received a slap on the wrist, to the tune of a $100,000 fine, from the league. Voynov subsequently pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor domestic battery and voluntarily returned to Russia to avoid deportation.
Of course, it’s not like the teams have had great guidance from the NHL on how to handle these issues. The league, if you will recall, recently named Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov its “first star of the week” on the same day his civil trial for domestic…