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Montreal Canadiens owner supports Logan Mailloux’s selection, and also apologizes for not assessing impact

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Montreal Canadiens owner Jeff Molson apologized to “everyone affected by our decision” while supporting his team’s selection of defensive midfielder Logan Maillo in the first round of the NHL draft final weekend.

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“We gave Logan a second chance, but in doing so we failed to properly assess the impact of our decision on the victim and on anyone who suffered in similar circumstances. Once again, I would like to apologize to everyone affected by our decision,” Molson said in a message posted to the Canadians website on Wednesday. “I repeat, our actions will speak louder than our words. We will work to persevere to prove that we are an institution this community can be elated of.”

Milo, 18, had “abandoned” conscription following several news reports covered an incident in Sweden in which he showed colleagues a photo of him and a woman having consensual sex. The photo was taken without the consent of the woman who went to the local police. Milo was fined but not arrested for privacy infringement and defamation.

While sources indicated to ESPN that several NHL teams were considering taking him on the second day of the draft, Montreal picked him for 30th place in the first round. The next day, Mallo said he accepted the Canadians following they drafted him and thought the team could aid “improve him” as a person.

The decision sparked an immediate backlash from fans and the media, and eventually led to a few sponsors questioning their commitments to the franchise for next season. On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “as a lifelong Habs fan, I am deeply disappointed with the decision” and that the team “has a lot to do for Montreal residents and fans across the country.”

Molson, who released his message at the start of the NHL’s free agent period on Wednesday afternoon, specifically addressed the woman.

“I want to say that we do not underestimate what she has had to live and still has to live through. No one, especially an 18 year old girl, should have to go through such a traumatic experience. We are there to support her and her family and respect their privacy” . “Our selection of Logan was never intended to be disrespectful towards her or her family, or in general towards women or other victims of similar situations. Our decision was never intended, in any way or form, to be an endorsement of a culture of violence against women.”

Molson said Milo was “a young man who committed a grave offense” but “really regrets the pain he caused” and is “committed to becoming a better person and we will work with him through the process.”

The letter outlined how Canadians are preparing to treat Malo as a possibility. He will not participate in the Canadian Junior Development Camp or Boot Camp.

“Being an NHL player is a privilege to be earned – not a right to be given,” he said. “As the year progresses, we will reassess Logan’s readiness to be a part of our organization.”

In addition, the team will develop a plan to hoist awareness and educate young men and women about “this grave issue,” using team resources “to transform a decision that hurts so many people into one that brings meaningful and impactful change.”

Referensi: www.espn.com

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