Auston Matthews, the star forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has come forward and apologised for his actions after reaching a settlement with the security guard who filed a police report that ultimately led to criminal harassment charges being filed in Scottsdale, Arizona where Matthews has a home.
Auston Matthews, now the legal issues are behind him has stated he will learn from this mistake and stated, during a media appearance that,
“I just want to reiterate again just how truly sorry I am for my actions and my behaviour. I never meant to cause any distress to this woman and I can assure you that I’ve learned from my mistakes and my actions and it’s something for me to just strive from every day to be better in every aspect of my life.”
It was reported by a City of Scottsdale spokesperson that Auston Matthews and the female security guard has agreed to a settlement. The incident first came to light in September of this year after an incident that that occurred at the condo building where Matthews lives. That was addressed with the media on the 25th of September with Matthews avoiding discussing it other than focusing on his responsibilities as a member of the team.
The security guard, Fayola Dozithee, filed a police report that will sitting in her car with the door locked that a group of people, one of which was Auston Matthews attempted to enter her car early in the morning of May 26 while she was completing paperwork.
The police report stated when Dozithee confronted the group, who she felt where under the influence of alcohol, that Matthews dropped his pants while at the same time grabbed his buttocks. It was added that Matthews was wearing underwear at the time of the incident and remained in place before his pants were pulled up. Commenting, Matthews stated,
“I think I learned just how your actions can obviously affect other people. I made a mistake and it’s been a lesson learned. I’ll try to put my best foot forward and just strive to be better in all aspects of my life.”
This was not the only issue relating to the issue that Matthews failed to use better judgement as he also failed to advise the Maple Leafs organization about the investigation and subsequent charges. That information didn’t come to light until general manager Kyle Dubas found out via Twitter. Matthews for his part acknowledged that not being upfront with the organization was an error in judgment, but for coach Mike Babcock, he is glad the matter has been settled commenting that,
“Any time something goes wrong in your life, you want to own it and get on with it as quick as you can, and sometimes when you don’t like the way you handled something or the way it went. That’s the hardest part for you [to deal with]. I think he’s done a real good job of owning the situation and moving on. Anybody who’s an athlete, who’s in the public eye, has a responsibility to the public. That doesn’t make it easy, and we all make mistakes, but you own it and you move on.”
Brendan Shanahan, President of the Maple Leafs, stated through the organizations public relations department that,
“The Toronto Maple Leafs are committed to developing and promoting the qualities of good character, respect and equality in our organization, including our players, and we recognize and embrace the role we serve in the community. While Auston has been an exceptional ambassador for the Leafs in representing those values, his conduct in this incident last May failed to meet expectations. We appreciate that Auston has publicly reiterated today that he is truly sorry for his conduct and has recognized the impact his actions caused. We have no doubt that he has learned a valuable lesson and will grow from this experience.”
Matthews, while dealing with the legalities surrounding the case, was able to put it aside and continue to produce goals for the Maple Leafs. Since the case became known, the star forward has played twenty games and scored 13 goals, earned 13 assists and collected 26 points. Now the issues are behind him, Matthews is focused on moving forward. Commenting, Matthews stated,
“The case is something that I had to deal with on a personal level, but at the same time, I have a job to do and I have to block that out while I’m doing it and focus on that. Obviously it’s not a situation I’d like to be in, but it’s been a big lesson learned for myself.”
The focus will begin on Saturday as the Maple Leafs head to Pittsburgh to take on the Capitals before taking a two day break before their game in Tuesday against the New York Islander before heading to Matthews’ home state of Arizona to take on the Coyotes.