Longtime Harvard women’s ice hockey coach Katey Stone has come under fire after allegations of abusive coaching practices and at least one incident of racist language came to light in a Boston Globe report published last week.
One incident in the report details Stone’s use of racist language during the past season to degrade her team, which included two now-former players who identify as North Americans of Indigenous descent during 2021-22 season. Both players left the team after the incident.
Sydney Daniels, an assistant coach who had captained the 2016-17 Harvard team and is a member of the Mistawasis Nehiyawak First Nation of Saskatchewan, also left the team and is now suing the university for alleged racial and other forms of discrimination related to Stone and the athletic department. Harvard has until Feb. 8 to respond to the complaint.
The incident led to a review by Harvard that ended with the school deciding to keep Stone on as coach. That decision was met with backlash from former players who, according to the Globe, “say Stone has emotionally damaged them.”
Sixteen of Stone’s former players told the Globe they fault Harvard for keeping her despite several complaints about her alleged abusive coaching practices. Some 14 recruited players have left Stone’s program since 2016, including three this season.
Around 45 of her former players sent a letter to the Globe in support of Stone.
Stone declined to comment to the Globe for the story, as did Harvard.
Stone, 56, is in her 27th season as Harvard’s coach.