The Belfast Giants, of the UK's EIHL, made for what seemed like a feel-good story last month when they mutinied against their new owner. After the Giants had been purchased by an American named Christopher Knight, executives discovered that Knight was a registered sex offender in Florida, and refused to play for him. Instead, the corporation that owns and operates their arena formed its own company, and signed every single player and coach to come join the new Belfast Giants.
Yesterday, at a fan event, the Giants GM spoke openly and profanely about the decision not to play for Knight. From Action81.com:
“I got rid of a creep and I would it again, I would do it a hundred times over and if the guy sues my ass off I don’t give a shit,” Todd Kelman, general manager of the Belfast Giants told attendees at the club’s fan forum in Belfast. “If the guy was here I’d say ‘go fuck yourself, we did the right thing.’”
Lost in the bluster and the headline are some major, major questions about the Giants, a team that has been back and forth from the brink of bankruptcy for the past decade. Why didn't they do their research on Knight before agreeing to sell to him? Why were there conflicting reports on everything from his wealth, to the percent ownership he would have, to even his age? Do the "new" Giants even have a sound legal footing to set up shop with the same players, sponsors, and branding?
A reporter confronted Kelman with some of these questions, and didn't receive any particularly satisfactory answers. While the Giants may have escaped an owner with an charge for "Lewd or Lascivious Battery," it's not clear if they're in any better hands.