Pop Goes The News — A Canadian man whose 2005 hazing at Montreal’s McGill University made national headlines has shared his story with U.S. sports network ESPN.
D’Arcy McKeown of Toronto is one of three former hazing victims featured in an hour-long Outside The Lines special.
McKeown, then an 18-year-old football team recruit at McGill, was sodomized with a broom by senior teammates on Aug. 27, 2005.
He told ESPN about how players were humiliated following a dinner on campus.
“They made us strip off all our shirts … and hold hands while skipping from the cafeteria back to the athletic complex and eventually into the squash courts,” he recalled. “While this was going on they were yelling homophobic slurs at us.”
McKeown said the new players were called “fags, pansies, homos [and] gays.”
Inside a dark squash court, McKeown was stripped naked and sexually assaulted with a broom while players cheered from the stands above the court.
“I didn’t think that anybody who had the academic ability to get into a school like McGill would be basically stupid enough to do something like that,” McKeown told ESPN.
One of four sons of former CFL player and veteran TV journalist Bob McKeown, he reported the incident to the team coach, athletic director, university president and provost.
“They didn’t want it known, they wanted to keep it quiet, they quietly suspended people and moved on,” he said, “and that wasn’t enough. They needed to acknowledge what happened.”
McKeown switched to the University of Toronto, where he played on the Varsity Blues. He currently works for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
McKeown said he feels like he can take credit for changes at McGill. He said he was committed to “stopping this from ever happening here again.”
The ESPN special includes footages of the McGill campus, including its football stadium and the squash court where the hazing took place.
According to the Outside the Lines special, there have been 40 similar incidents in school athletic programs since 2011, including seven this year. It said the majority of incidents likely don’t get reported.
Though no criminal charges were filed, the incident prompted McGill to suspend players and cancel the final two games of the football season.
In 2007, the university implemented strict new policies against hazing, including “disrobing or appearing nude in a public or private place” and “engaging in, or simulating, sexual acts.”