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News Release - University statement regarding Steve Boyd

Thursday, February 20, 2020

As a community, and as a university, we were saddened and distressed by the February Globe and Mail article concerning a coach and a former university track athlete and her experiences. We are sure it was even more distressing for the many athletes directly impacted, and for the wider sporting community in Canada. No student-athlete should be subjected to the type of environment described. 

We understand that there were many victims in this matter. We expect the behaviours of those who represent us to reflect the values of the institution and to demonstrate proper consideration and respect for those who were victimized.

Queen’s university upholds and promotes the value of free speech.  However, Mr. Boyd made numerous statements on social media berating and blaming student athletes who were themselves victims and which only served to re-traumatize them.  In doing so, Mr. Boyd flagrantly disregarded the respect and dignity requirements of the Queen’s A&R Coaches Code of Ethics, the OUA Code of Conduct and Ethics, and related U SPORTS Policies and Procedures.

Mr. Boyd’s comments follow a pattern of objectionable social media commentary spanning several years, about which he had previously been formally cautioned. Mr. Boyd failed to heed repeated warnings from the administration to stop his reckless social media activities.  

Queen’s University fully supports Canada’s Safe Sport actions to prevent abuse, harassment and bullying.  The university had no choice but to take assertive action in this instance to make it clear that Mr. Boyd’s berating and victim-blaming comments do not reflect the values of the university and we certainly do not condone them.

– Professor Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

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