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It’s Not Sean Avery That Disappoints Me…

Admin Icon …it’s the fans that feel Sean Avery has a right to free speech and should suffer no consequences – they’re the ones that really disappoint me.

I watch hockey not only because my hockey club the only winning sports franchise in the area but also because I appreciate the relative overall level of humility and professionalism present in the NHL compared to other sports. Notice I said ‘relative’. I’ve grown tired of all the showboating, trash talking egomaniac athletes who think it’s all about them and don’t understand what ‘team’ means. And truly, what disappoints me the most is usually the off-court/off-field antics that show, through their actions, just how shallow these athletes can be. I don’t appreciate the kind of example they set.

I know – it’s almost ironic. My good friend Tom likes to quip how back in the oldie days you would never take a kid to a hockey game because there were just as many fight in the stands as there were on the ice. Locally at least the NHL promotes itself as a family friendly environment.

When Sean Avery makes the kind of comments like he did it doesn’t surprise me. What bothers me are all the fans defending him with this ‘right to free speech’ argument. Sean Avery can say anything he wants, but if he says something hurtful, hateful or inappropriate he can suffer consequences – that’s where there seems to be a disconnect..

If you work at Circuit City and you tell every customer you come into contact with that they should go shop at Best Buy because your boss is a loser you can expect to lose your job. If you start insulting people in the supermarket because their skin color is different than yours you may be asked to leave the store. You have the right to own a firearm (in the US) but if you go shooting people in a mall you can expect to go to jail.

I hope they throw the book at Avery but I’m pretty sure the irony of professional sports will once again reveal itself – the league will impose some kind of penalty saying ‘we don’t tolerate that kind of behavior’, and then some team will turn around and sign him saying ‘well, actually we do’.

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