A reminder the next time you trash a player on Twitter, you never know who’s reading it

Clendening

Clendening

Watch what you say.

I’ve been doing this blogging stuff for a few years now, and I am far from perfect but some of you can be downright nasty on social media. Forget the vile things said to me that my own wife has actually been hurt or angry over, but the hate fans spout about players is disgusting.

Words can hurt, it’s simple. However, who they hurt is not always obvious.

Photo credit: NY Post

Photo credit: NY Post

One player who was the absolute scapegoat for everything wrong with the Rangers over the last few seasons has been Tanner Glass. The things said to his twitter account, or about him were despicable.

While it may or may not have affected him, I can tell you it affected a family member, his younger brother.  During the height of the hate in late 2015, I went into total defense mode for Glass. The issues the Rangers had were not the fault of a 4th line grinder who was willing to stick up for teammates, they were far deeper. Yet time and time again, fans just went after him relentlessly.

Glass’ brother and I exchanged some DM’s about it, and he was grateful. “Nice to see a NYR blogger not blame him for everything,” he wrote. “You do a good job. I like your page. One of the few Ranger guys that understands the game. In my opinion.” I told him, I do appreciate his brother’s role as much as his teammates and coach do. He replied, “And that’s all that matters.”

I’m Not Perfect

Sometimes, in my quest to prove I’m right…especially with other bloggers, I too get carried away. Prime example: Emerson Etem. Due to the fact that so many of those that bow to the alter of advanced stats loved him for no other reason than just that…I went real hard at him when he was traded.

Even afterwards, I continued making fun of him when he was recently waived by Vancouver. Why? To rub it in the noses of bloggers. Sadly, ignoring that the kid is just trying to live out his dreams in the NHL. Not really one of my shining moments as a human being.

For the record, I have always kept it clean, kept it to hockey and not made it personal. It doesn’t mean I was justified to do so excessively.

Lesson Learned

Now I’ve shifted my focus towards Adam Clendening. Not because he is a bad player, but because he’s still unproven and being made out by Girardi-haters to be Ray Bourque. In trying to defend Dan Girardi, I opted to do so by criticizing a young man trying to make it in the NHL.

Today in my criticism, I probably took it too far. Once again, I stuck to hockey and did not make it personal but I was still harsh. That’s when I started to realize a series of likes on tweets countering my criticism. I had seen them before on tweets during the preseason when I gave him credit too. It’s his girlfriend (who I am not going to point out here, so people can go tweet her).

We had an exchange where I told her that I hope he proves me wrong and I’m not rooting against him. She quickly and rightfully responded that it didn’t appear that way. I explained my position and we had a pleasant private exchange.

“It’s just been a tough couple years for him so I’ll stick up for him whenever I can,” she told me. She was even more gracious by saying, “You have a job to do too I get it! I work in sports. Just want him to be given a fair chance is all!”

So a fair chance I will give him.

Why Am I Writing This?

Girardi with his son (NYR)

Girardi with his son (NYR)

Sometimes in the heat of passion, sports fans can say (or tweet) things they shouldn’t. There is nothing wrong with fairly criticizing teams or players, but calling them names or wishing them harm is flat out disgusting.

These players may or may not be on Twitter, but you never know which one of their loved ones are. It doesn’t take much to go into Twitter’s search section and type in a players name. I mean, just type “Girardi” during a Rangers game and you would cry if he was your son, brother, husband and in his case, dad.

I probably won’t be changing anyones ways with this post, but I felt the need to write it. Even if it’s to hold myself more accountable.

Maybe though, it just might make you think twice. That’s good too.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore