In a new twist on an old story, an agent to a professional hockey player is the one now making news after a comment on Twitter. Sean Avery, the polarizing agitator of the New York Rangers who in the past has made headlines for dirty antics and comments on and off the ice, is part of a this uproar, but not on the side you might think.As part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, Avery took part in a video where he stated his support for same-sex marriage. “I’m Sean Avery and I’m a New Yorker for Marriage Equality. I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated and that applies to marriage,” he says in the video.
“Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love,” he continues. “Join me in supporting marriage equality.”
One hockey agent, however, decided to make it clear that he will not be joining Avery or any others. “Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage.’ Legal or not, it will always be wrong,” tweeted Todd Reynolds, Vice President of Uptown Sports Management, based in Ontario.
It seemed Reynolds knew he would get attention for the tweet, so several more followed. “To clarify. This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal.”
He would add: “But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.”
Well, that is certainly debatable. However, this once again falls into the category that states “you have freedom of speech, but not freedom of consequences.” Reynolds is correct in saying he is entitled to his opinion, but almost invariably when you have to lean back on that axiom, you are saying something you probably shouldn’t. Hockey makes news daily in Toronto, the center of the NHL, a metropolis that is particularly liberal and a proponent of gay rights, and thus Reynolds is likely to fall out of favor with some fans that who didn’t know who he was to begin with.
He went on TSN Radio in Toronto to further clarify, falling back once more on the right of free speech. It seems to happen every week, whether it’s in sports with Rashard Mendenhall, or with Alexandra Wallace at UCLA, that someone has a view that is not in the majority, and it creates news because of social media.
There is a new component to this case, however, in that it is not someone who is already famous causing a stir. There are no shortage of examples of athletes going to Twitter and saying something regretful; this seems to be the first case though of an agent making the headlines. Based on his comments, it almost seems like he wanted the attention. Hockey fans and even casual sports fans in general probably know who Sean Avery is. It is unlikely that anyone other than hardcore hockey fanatics, reporters and NHL agents know Todd Reynolds is.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone will change their viewpoint based on Mr. Reynolds, or that anyone will feel validated because of where he stands. This story will disappear as quickly as it came, but once again it suggests that people should stick to what they are good at when they are on Twitter. If you work in hockey, just talk hockey, and unless you’re a professional comedian, please don’t try to be funny.