Jason Bailey, formerly a forward for the Bakersfield Condors, the then-ECHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, has filed suit against the Ducks alleging that he was the victim of anti-Semitic treatment while he was a member of the Condors.
The complaint, filed in Orange County, Calif., names the Ducks, the Condors, Martin Raymond and Mark Pederson, the then-head coach and assistant coach of the Condors as defendants and seeks unspecified damages.
The complaint alleges that Bailey was the victim of a "barrage of anti-Semitic, offensive and degrading verbal attacks regarding his Jewish faith" from both Raymond and Pederson. In addition, the complaint alleges that Bailey was deprived of the resources necessary to become a better hockey player.
He was denied ice team, was not given the proper practice drills, was often left undressed for games and even was left behind on the team's first road trip and instructed to catch up with the team in a few days.
When Bailey complained to the Ducks about his treatment, the complaints were ignored and then he was sent to the Iowa Chops for two months where he was not given any playing time. The coaches were instructed to write apology letters to him, which were self-serving and made light of the situation.
At the end of the season, Bailey asked to be traded and he was shipped to the Ottawa Senators who sent him to their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. His numbers in Binghamton have not been overwhelming: appeared in 17 games, a healthy scratch in 29. He is minus-one with no points and 11 penalty minutes.
This is the first time I can recall a professional sports franchise, particularly a major league franchise, being sued for anti-Semitism. If Bailey's lawyers can prove in court the allegations in the complaint, then I think the Ducks have a real problem on their hands.
I suspect that the Ducks know as much and this will get settled before it goes to trial. That is assuming, of course, that Bailey is not looking to make a public spectacle of the Ducks organization for the way he was treated; an assumption that is certainly no guarantee.
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