Home / Sports / "It has been a great shame for my family": the driver of Sens Uber opens on video

"It has been a great shame for my family": the driver of Sens Uber opens on video

TORONTO: A Uber pilot who posted images of the Ottawa Senators' players disregarding one of his coaches and the performance of his team says he regrets having shared the video and destroyed a second unreleased clip.

James Sparklin, a father of six children from Arizona, told The Canadian Press he has not spoken to the players. Matt Duchene, Chris Wideman, Thomas Chabot, Colin white, Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo Y Alex Formenton – appears in the images he posted on YouTube, but received a thank you from a member of the team's administration, when he offered to offer apologies.

"I called the team … because I wanted to make sure they understood that they had destroyed the other tape, they will never see the light of day," he said, and said the video shows players entering their van and having a pre-trip discussion. about the number of pbadengers. "I really regret what happened and it's not right … I never wanted to hurt any of the players involved, the training personnel involved, the owner involved, the city involved … I was not thinking of everyone."

A spokesman for the Ottawa Senators refuted Sparklin's claim that he apologized and said: "Based on our review, we have no reason to believe that such a conversation occurred."

Sparklin's remorse comes more than a week after he admitted that he posted on YouTube images of Senator players in his vehicle ridiculing his badistant coach, Martin Raymond, saying they had not paid attention at meetings and complained that the team has not altered its penalty techniques.

Sparklin said he was "not in the best state of mind" when he put the images online, but he hoped to show another driver how he handled seven pbadengers, a problem for Sparklin because he said the Uber XL offer for large groups, that Senators used, is for six or fewer pbadengers. His truck has capacity for seven pbadengers, but said that for a long time he feared that it would not be covered by his insurance if he transported more than six people.

Sparklin said the second video shows him discussing the problem with the player, but said that in the end he gave them a break because he worried that his driver's rating would be affected if the senators followed an observation about the cancellation of the trip.

That video never made it online, but the video of his trip did, especially when Sparklin sent it to Postmedia, which owns Ottawa Citizen and then posted it on its website.

"I did not realize I sent it to an important news outlet," Sparklin said.

Since then, the senators sent a legal notice to Postmedia to demand the removal of the images because it violates the provincial privacy laws, but the company has refused, arguing that the video is of public interest and does not violate the privacy legislation. .

Sparklin pulled out the YouTube video when Uber approached him and asked him to remove it, saying it violated the company's terms of service.

"I thought everything was over," Sparklin said.

He was wrong. By then, the video was being shared around the world.

Sparklin, who said he had previously conducted soccer, basketball and baseball players, but never heard them belittle his team, said he did not know the pbadengers were professional hockey players until they started talking about the sport and He asked who they were playing.

Sparklin said players should have known they were on camera due to the presence of a pbadenger-facing screen that shows the view of the camera. He said that previous pbadengers have noticed and have asked.

Sparklin said the camera was installed in his truck a long time ago as a security measure that was useful weeks before the Senators incident, when another motorist had a heart attack and lost control of his vehicle, swept Sparklin's van and caused damage for $ 11,000. .

"I was having a hard time sleeping before picking up players since my accident, it keeps coming back and reappearing," he said. "The stress of this put me in a bad state."

Then, after the Senator incident, Uber quickly and permanently deactivated his driver account.

"They tried to keep me up because I'm a highly rated driver, but the story got too big and they had the perfect opportunity to set an example and let the other drivers know there are rules," Sparklin said.

Uber told The Canadian Press that Sparklin was permanently removed from the company's leadership, but did not confirm that he had been trying to maintain it.

Sparklin said his driving days for Uber have ended due to the incident, as well as the fact that it was difficult for him to make money driving for the company.

"I never earned a dime from this video, not a dime," he said. "I lost a lot: my income from driving to Uber, my reputation, it's been a great shame for my family."

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