Poile Offers Contract to Ribeiro, Comes Under Fire

On the eve of the NHL Draft, a report came out that GM David Poile had offered a contract to unrestricted free agent Mike Ribeiro, the team’s number one center a season ago. While the terms of the proposal are unclear (it was rejected), what IS certain is the response from fans being appalled at the very thought he would be retained by the organization amidst sexual assault accusations stemming from 2011.

If you missed the Prednecknation podcast from a few days ago, you can listen to that here as Charlie and Dan seem to be in agreement that the team distance themselves from Ribeiro immediately. I’m not one to shy away from opinion, even if it should differ from my cohorts, but this is the easy way out.

Being a GM in the NHL is anything but easy, and Poile is doing what he believes is the responsible thing to do in this situation. He is in charge of putting together the most talented team possible under a budget to compete and win a championship. The Ribeiro situation has complicated that even further as morals have now come into question. How can he offer a contract to someone who has been accused of such despicable acts?

There are several reasons actually. Ribeiro hasn’t been formally charged with anything, nor has he been arrested, and there has been no proof brought forward to indicate he’s guilty of anything. He and his wife have vehemently denied any wrongdoing from day one. The only reason this has come to the forefront now is that the accuser has (after 4 years) come forward with alleged details of her interactions with Ribeiro, only after hiring a different attorney. What I question however, is why this is a civil case instead of criminal, when the statute of limitations for sexual assault in Virginia is 20 years? One could very easily draw the conclusion that she is just after the money. As of right now, these are allegations and nothing more. I point to the Duke lacrosse rape case several years ago. In the court of public opinion, those students were vilified for unspeakable acts, only to be found not guilty in a court of law.

But again, this is a civil case. Suppose one of you had been accused of this, and your current employer who you weren’t with at the time, learned about it and decided to terminate you. That’s essentially what we’re talking about here. Wouldn’t you feel wronged considering you haven’t been found guilty, or even brought up on charges of anything? It’s he said, she said for the time until we find out more.

I understand that we as a society are wired to paint someone guilty before the facts are released, but let’s curb our collective outrage until all the facts are revealed and the legal process is complete.

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