Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fontaine suspended 2 games for Twitter slur

The Aeros will be without the services of Justin Fontaine for the next two games after he was suspended today by the Minnesota Wild for using a homosexual slur on Twitter Sunday night (per a report by Russo).

If you want the details of the Twitter incident, you can read about it here. I don't see much value in perpetuating it further in this space.

I feel mixed on the decision by the team. I felt like Fontaine took enough rulers to the back of the hand from followers last night that he probably learned his lesson, and I think it has more impact coming from fans than from the team (at least in terms of a "talking to"). And I felt sure those around him took notice as well, given that DiSalvatore entangled himself in it by retweeting the slur.

So, a suspension feels heavy handed to me.... BUT, I have to say, I admire the team for taking a strong stance here. They could have done the "we talked to him" thing or, worse, the "boys will be boys" thing. But they dropped the hammer pretty good there and I'm proud of them for it.

I hate to say this, but I'm not sure why DiSalvatore didn't get a game while they were at it. Retweeting it is essentially consent and if anything, El Capitan is held to a bit higher standard. But that is what it is.

What'd I'd hate to see is for the team to get their knickers in a bunch and start making a bunch of rules that handcuff the guys who do use Twitter, because generally it's been a lot of fun getting to watch them banter with each other, and by and large, their spelling and grammar might not be great but they've been entertaining and well behaved.

Oh well. Tough lesson learned for the rookie and not a fun hit for the Aeros on the ice, but a big part of development is the off-ice portion of being a professional, and this is one of those "teaching moments" for the whole room.

Is it tacky of me to embed a Foo Fighters song here? Yes? Okay fine... darnit.


Forecheck said...

1. What Fonzie did was stupid.

2. What the Wild did was equally dumb. He was doing it on his own nickel, not on company time. It's bad enough schools think they have the right to control what students do off-campus, we don't want our employers doing the same.

3. This whole thing is another good reason not to use Twitter. I don't.

artandhockey said...

What IS the big deal.. that word has been used to name a musical wind instrument!
With either one or two G spellings.
I hate the scurrilous misuse of proper name. Nuf said!
Go google it if you want more info!
Hmm the identifier now is euroicat!
Freely after Betthoven, perhaps?

John Royal said...

@FC: per the NHL Social Media policy, players can be disclipined for detrimental conduct.

@A&H: the big deal is that the word in question is, to those in the gay community, the equivalent of the "N" word in the African-American community and the "C" word in the women's community.

If you ever get the chance, there's an episode of the FX sitcom "Louie" where the word is used and a gay comedian friend of comic Louis CK explains why the word has such a negative meaning.

artandhockey said...

@ JR.. and the Brits use an abbreviated version as verb (in Public School over there), or for a cigarette (if they still smoke, of course.
As I said it is being so terribly misused here.

John Royal said...

The British use of the word doesn't matter. In North America, the word is used to denegrate a select class of society.

Forecheck said...

If you are a public figure, why would you use an account with your real name on it to communicate with friends?

You would think team banter would be best done more anonymously.