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St-Hubert will maintain partnership with Canadiens despite Mailloux scandal

The Gazette logo The Gazette 2021-07-29 Jesse Feith, Montreal Gazette
a car parked in front of a building: St-Hubert BBQ says it appreciated team owner Geoff Molson “taking responsibility” and publicly apologizing this week to anyone hurt by the decision to draft Logan Mailloux. © Provided by The Gazette St-Hubert BBQ says it appreciated team owner Geoff Molson “taking responsibility” and publicly apologizing this week to anyone hurt by the decision to draft Logan Mailloux.
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After saying it was evaluating whether to continue its partnership with the team following its controversial decision to draft Logan Mailloux, Groupe St-Hubert says it will not cut ties with the Montreal Canadiens.

In a statement issued Thursday, the company said it’s had discussions with the organization in recent days and has decided to continue its “long-standing association with the club.”

Specifically, the restaurant chain said it appreciated team owner Geoff Molson “taking responsibility” and publicly apologizing this week to anyone hurt by the decision.

“We are confident that the Canadiens will implement the action plan as outlined and this will hopefully lead to some positive outcomes,” it said. “We continue to disapprove of abusive actions and reprehensible behaviour, regardless of an individual’s status in society.”

Groupe St-Hubert said it will not be commenting any further on the situation. Earlier this week, it had said it was “surprised” by the team’s decision and evaluating what to do next .

The company’s position is similar to the stance taken by one of the team’s other major sponsors, Mouvement Desjardins. After voicing discomfort about the selection earlier this week, the financial-services co-operative said Wednesday it’s also “satisfied by the sincerity of the comments expressed by Geoff Molson.”

The backlash to the Canadiens selecting Mailloux was immediate and has continued throughout the week. The decision has been criticized by groups helping women who have experienced sexual violence and by politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau .

While he was playing hockey in Sweden last year, Mailloux sent some of his teammates a photo, taken without consent, of a young woman engaging in a sex act with him. After the woman complained to Swedish authorities, Mailloux, who was 17 at the time, was charged with defamation and offensive photography. He paid a fine worth $2,100.

After news of the incident was reported, Mailloux said he didn’t deserve to be selected in this year’s NHL draft and asked that he not be picked. Several teams reportedly dropped him from consideration, but the Canadiens selected him anyway .

After staying silent on the matter, Molson released a statement on Wednesday to apologize for the pick.

“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 has suffered in similar circumstances,” Molson said.

Mailloux won’t take part in the Canadiens rookie camp this summer or its main training camp this fall.

jfeith@postmedia.com

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