UPDATED: On Dustin Penner

I’m not going to rehash what we all already know about Dustin Penner – and if you don’t, feel free to go read his Twitter timeline or this recap. [Trigger warnings apply for rape and bad attempts at humor.]

All caught up? Awesome. Now here’s a few things:

1) I don’t buy his apology. He’s still not taking ownership that he screwed up. He apologizes for hurting people, yes. But he still doesn’t see that the “joke” is wrong – he sees that others are telling him that he may have hurt people and feels bad that he has offended his friends.

2) Regarding his “I pulled out of TSN“. If that was the case, why did Cabbie call him? Why didn’t he pick up the phone himself? Further, perhaps it’s just me, but it feels very “I’m breaking up with you before you break up with me”, to be honest.

3) And finally, the wording of this tweet from @TSN_PR. I’ll lead you to draw your own conclusions.

Don’t label Dustin Penner as the “hero” of this story. He’s not. And he has no one to blame except himself for that.

Update:

Because I know some people are unaware, Sean Avery kind of weighed in? Sort of…

Everyone should be caught up now, yes? Now go wash the grossness off.

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[Opinion] Dustin Byfuglien is nothing but a high school bully.

Today, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston broke the story of the day (possibly the week) when he reported that the Evander Kane completely missed the Vancouver game of his own choice and detailed the day leading up to it. You can read the entire story here, and I very much urge you to do so.

There is a lot that strikes me as fundamentally wrong in the picture painted by Johnston. I will admit that the situation strikes a chord within me for personal reasons. I’ve been there. I’ve been on a team where bullying antics being used to have teammates to conform were “okay”. I had my clothes thrown in the shower as a “prank”. And because I couldn’t prove which teammate did it, no disciplinary action was taken. Ultimately, I quit the team. And obviously, despite it being nearly 15 years later, I still feel the pain. (What was I being forced to conform to, by the way? I still don’t know. It was high school – I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t skinny enough, I wasn’t normal enough.)

That was in high school. Professional athletes should be held to a higher standard. However, it appears – unless information is being withheld (and that’s could be likely) – Dustin Byfuglien is getting away with bullying. The ramifications of this are HUGE. The message sent out to the public… the message sent to prospective athletes… the message sent out to kids who look up to these players… is despicable.

It’s saying that intimidation tactics are okay. They’re not. And if you’re one of the ones saying ‘oh, it’s just boys being boys, it’s just hockey players, it’s just locker-room antics. It’s just x, it’s just y, it’s just z’ It’s not just anything. It’s cruel. It’s immature. And it’s bullying, plain and simple.

Further, if there is a kernel of truth that Kane has been playing injured… perhaps there is more to the story for that day. Perhaps he wouldn’t have played that night after all. Perhaps there was a medical reason he was wearing a tracksuit. I highly doubt that those details will ever be released.

[Opinion Post] You’re Not Worth My Time or Respect

It’s funny how one little action can completely change your idea of someone. Especially as a fan with regards to a professional athlete. In a moment, a tweet, a favorite, a retweet, or a block can alter your perception of them.

This week in particular was very much an eye-opener for me on social media. I’ve mentioned before how much I adore the Seattle Seahawks, and SuperBowl Sunday was an event at my house. The loss stung, but not as much as turning to social media and seeing athletes I had previously respected behaving as classless, sore winners. Yes, you read that right. The ones who were cheering on the Patriots – or in some cases, any team that wasn’t the Seattle Seahawks – were the ones that were the most ill-behaved (in my opinion).

I don’t say this as a hurt fan of a losing team. I love my team, it was a battle, and a great game. I say this as someone who watched other professional athletes drag down members of the Seattle Seahawks. Calling Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman ‘thugs’. Or, in a very memorable instant:

Needless to say, I did a lot of unfollowing in the hours post-SuperBowl.

Today, I learned another lesson. Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason to social media interactions and fans don’t receive the respect they deserve.

I, along with a few other fans, was blocked by a silly member of the Nashville Predators organization. Prior to tonight, I personally had only said kind things about him. Tonight, after he had blocked a friend of mine (a fan of his who did not tweet anything negative at him), I posted this:

I remain a fan of the Nashville Predators, I remain a fan of James Neal’s ability on the ice. However, I am no longer a fan of him off the ice, or his social media persona. Treat your fans with respect, Neal. Word gets around. Grow up and think about your actions. Blocking because someone called you silly? Oh, honey. No.

(All tweets to/about James Neal by me can be found here, btw. Decide for yourself.)

Further, if you’re going to search your name (which is how he must have blocked my friend), and disregard the good and only look at the bad, I’ve only got one thing for you:

bye felicia

Let’s Make a Change

Hi, Hockey Community,

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent days/weeks/months about discrimination and being better and being nicer and accepting that some people need to be educated but that those that are doing the educating need to have patience.

And that’s all true. Absolutely. One hundred percent. We all need to be better, and nicer, and have patience that change isn’t going to happen immediately.

HOWEVER. In continuing to shove that down our throats, you are telling the minority to be silent when their voices desperately need to be heard. I can only speak for myself, but I can promise that I am trying to be better. That I am trying to be nicer.

“It” gets better – but only if we work for it. Only if you work for it with me. I addressed this post to the Hockey Community on purpose. It can’t just be the minority working towards the betterment of the whole because that’s the minority making changes to fit in and not the ones that actually need to make changes.

Sometimes it takes yelling and screaming and fighting and name calling to get attention where it deserves. Sometimes people need to be called out in public, to get others’ attention to them. Sometimes you have tried the gentler, softer, kinder approach with someone – or seen someone else try – and know it’s not going to work.

Stop condemning people for being upset. They care. Get mad at people when they say stupid things. Demand change. Nothing ever will if we all just sit here saying that we need to be better and don’t do something to make it happen.

If you’re going to get mad – get mad with a purpose. Don’t be afraid to overreact; in my opinion, there hasn’t been enough reacting.

Don’t direct your ire towards those of us who say that we’re trying to be better – direct it towards those who say there’s nothing to be better about.

Mid-Day Snack: On Blogging, Twitter, & Narratives (with bonus Fancy Stats Talk)

I saw the hashtag #notAllCanucksFans last night and laughed. I laughed right up until I started using it, because I’m tired of the narrative.

Today’s rant brought to you mostly by the “debate” (I use that word loosely) that occurred between Canadiens & Canucks bloggers last night. However, as I started writing, I realized that more and more the following are happening in Hockey Twitter. As I’m on the outside looking in a lot, I have an opinion that may differ from most.

Stop buying into and using the stereotypes. 

Not all of one team’s fans are one way. It’s insulting to the rest of us – no matter what team you cheer for. I don’t care if one or two or a handful act one way – just because they’re the loudest doesn’t mean the rest of us are that certain way. Don’t assume we are. It’s doing us – and you – a disservice.

Stop Writing/Tweeting to the Narrative You Want

Awhile ago bloggers criticized mainstream media constantly for this exact thing. Guess what? You (generalized) have now started doing this as well. Whether it’s over a game like the Canucks-Canadiens one last night or over a player like Alex Burrows, you are being biased. Something I admired about the blogging world as compared to most of the MSM is that they always showed both sides, even if – sometimes especially if – all the facts added together proved their theory wrong.

Having Different Opinions is OKAY!!!

Part of what makes Hockey Twitter fun – at least for me – is that sometimes someone has a different opinion than me! I MAY LEARN SOMETHING. My eyes might be open to a new way of thinking! What a concept! I know, I know. New things are scary and dangerous, but please. Whether it’s learning that player X didn’t do the thing you think they did or that fancy stats really aren’t all that fancy and are mostly counting, it’s how they’re applied that gets scary OR that it’s okay to NOT use stats and just watch the game…. all of this is fine.

 

With that, Happy Halloween. Enjoy your day. Afternoon Bite will be up shortly.

Always Treat a Woman Like a Lady.

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This was posted by Floyd Mayweather on his Twitter account on June 13, 2014. Provided he doesn’t delete it from the backlash, you can view it here. And in case he does delete it:

mayweather

Where do I even want to start? How about that very first sentence.

How a female dresses is her advertisement.” NO. No, it bloody well is not. How a female dresses is how a female dresses, dependent upon a million different things. Personally, it might depend on my mood, the weather, what I’m doing that day, or simply that I liked the color of the shirt so I put it on.

If a female shows half of her body, she’s asking to be disrespected.” Stop. Back up. NO. Women are never asking to be disrespected. Ever. I don’t go around saying, “Hi, excuse me, please disrespect me today, I’m really in the mood for it”. To me, this statement falls along the same lines as “She was half-naked, so it’s her fault I raped her.” “She was half-naked, so it’s her fault I treated her like scum.” It’s victim shaming and blaming. Stop. Just stop.

If she dresses classy, expect to be treated like a lady.” Pro-tip: ALWAYS treat women like ladies. Always. No exceptions. Ever.

How you’re addressed lies on your attire.” Sure. I’ll agree with this, dependent on the situation. Going in for an interview, you’re more likely to be taken seriously if you’re in business wear than if you show up wearing sweats and not showered. And it’s a sad truth, but unfortunately women are degraded every day based upon how they dressed. It’s why statements like this by public figures frustrate me so much. We should be striving to eradicate this sentiment.

Sexy is a spirit, not an outfit.” I’ll agree with this, too. However, in my opinion, this sentence completely contradicts the feelings put forth in Mayweather’s paragraph above it.

tl;dr

Don’t disrespect women. Ever. Based on anything.