Perhaps this article comes a day or two late; however, the message should be one that we as sports fans ought to take seriously.
In the wake of Elias Petterson falling victim of a dirty hit and body-slam leading to a concussion – Mike Matheson; the 24 year old Florida Panthers defenseman from Pointe-Claire, Quebec who delivered the hit, has faced online harassment and even death threats from Canuck fans. Death threats. Yes, you read that correctly.
This, my friends, is absolutely disgusting and wholly unacceptable.
While I will not defend Mike Matheson’s hit, I will wholeheartedly defend his right to live his life without fear (off the ice). It is not up to us as fans to seek out retribution on our players’ behalf – regardless of our seething fury. It’s hockey, folks, and this shit is going to happen from time to time. Get used to it or watch badminton.
It is bad enough that some of our “fans” decided to wreak havoc in our own city in 2011 following our loss in the Stanley Cup Final; but this brand of petulant faux-fandom only helps to perpetuate the already negative stigma surrounding our fan-base. And what’s worse, it is just a select few low-life assholes living out this narrative.
If you want to express your anger, buy a ticket to the re-match in January and make a sign or boo your head off when Matheson touches the puck. While your at it, how about you show some goddamn support your own team rather than embarrass them with trolling antics that reek of immaturity and downright stupidity.
So on behalf of the vast majority of Canuck fans; those of us who have some modicum of decency and common sense, I apologize. This is not what Vancouver is about and fuck those of you who would sink so low.