Restructure DOPS in the EIHL
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To the members of the Elite League Board
The fans listed below wish to express their concern about the fitness for purpose of the Department of Player Safety. While there have long been doubts about the consistency, and independence of this body, we believe that the recent decision regarding Colton Fretter has rendered DOPS a risk to players in the league and damages the international reputation of the league. Fans of different teams will always disagree about the severity or lenience of any given decision, but this case was so clearly a violation of player safety that it falls outside the realms of mere bias or disagreement. It is not our intention to suggest that one club should be punished, but rather that players of all clubs must be protected. To receive only a one game ban for such a dangerous act sets a worrying precedent and sends a clear message that such behaviour is deemed acceptable in our league.
Many of the players will take to the ice this weekend feeling anxious about their own safety in such a context, and many others will look at our league and feel it is not one they would feel safe joining. We love our sport and have no wish to see a player’s career ended with serious injury because the DOPS has refused to take its role seriously.
We ask you to restructure the DOPS body with immediate effect, to make it more robust, consistent, and to have player safety as its primary objective. We would also request that the Fretter decision is looked at by an independent body.
We hope that the fans views in this matter will be treated with respect.
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