Sean Avery and the Question of Tolerance

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Reprinted from

The virus that is Political Correctness has reared its ugly head in, of all places, the hockey world last  week.

Yes, hockey.  That region of the sports world almost immune to political rantings.  Rarely do we hear from players regarding their political opinions.  In most cases, that’s welcome because we simply want to be entertained, transported from our daily lives by the world’s greatest sport.

Other times, it’s interesting to hear what players think, and on rare occasions, we do. For example, some players–such as Andrew Ference–have committed themselves to “green” initiatives which have a political component to go along with its scientific underpinnings. Global Warming’s tenets are entirely debatable, but Ference is well-intended.

It’s simply rare to hear from hockey players on politics, and again, it’s entertainment, so perhaps it’s for the best, even though it is interesting to hear from players on non-hockey topics.  In general, it’s all mum on politics when it comes to shinny.

Enter Sean Avery.

No stranger to the spotlight, Avery’s–ahem–vibrant personality has made him the center of attention in a variety of thorny incidents.

Whether waving his stick in goaltender Martin Brodeur’s face like a teenage loony bin escapee or disparaging a young actress with a dismissive “sloppy seconds” remark that made blood run cold among League executives, Avery has never failed to supply a side show of embarrassing proportions.  Over the past year or so, Avery toned down his act, most likely because he is now coached by John Tortorella, who doesn’t indulge or suffer fools.


In a courageous move that should be applauded, Avery filmed a public service announcement for New Yorkers for Marriage Equality, a campaign organized by Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization.

Other PSA’s include messages from talk show host Larry King, former First Lady Barbara Bush, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor Ed Koch, and many other luminaries.  Avery is in legitimate company.

This bold, taboo-breaking move by Avery takes courage, whether you agree with him or not (I agree with Avery on this one: It’s none of this writer’s business who wants to marry).

The testosterone-driven hockey locker room isn’t the kind of place one would expect such talk.  But hey, it’s 2011, not 1961, not 1911.  Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people have worked long and hard for acceptance, especially in the years since the famous Stonewall Riots (1969), and Avery sticking his neck out on their behalf is courageous and welcome.


There’s been little public opposition to Avery’s stance, save for some comments in opposition to Avery’s stance from Todd Reynolds, an NHLPA-certified player agent from Uptown Sports Management.  Uptown represents NHLers including Jonathan Bernier, Andrew Brunette, Kyle Clifford, Carlo Colaiacovo, Andrew Desjardins, Mike Fisher, Cody McCormick and Chris Neil.

“Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage,’ legal or not, it will always be wrong.” wrote Reynolds via Twitter.

“It is not intolerance in any way shape or form,” Reynolds said in an attempt to clarify what he meant in the face of the backlash which followed his comments. “I believe we are all equal…but I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I do not hate anyone.”

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  • geez

    Agree with us or keep your mouth shut. If not, bad things happen to you… that truly is the cowards way. pc=pure crap

  • James

    So calling someone an ignorant religious bigot is OK because being politically correct is bad?

  • AJ Weberman

    I did not read the second part of the article when I commented. The guy was fired for opposing gay marriage. PC restricts freedom as it forces you to think in the liberal direction and not use words that represent thoughts that are not PC. It is basically liberal fascism. There is no conservative PC.

    • marie friedman

      I agree with you
      The sportscaster was entitled to his own opinions/beliefs and it was wrong to fire him.
      The PC "police" are going way too far.

  • Max

    I love the argument "I don't hate [minority group] but I believe [status quo] shouldn't be changed."

  • PAthena

    "I agree with Avery on this one: It’s none of this writer’s business who wants to marry."
    It surely is my business who wants to marry, which is why marriage is a legal institution. I object to polygamy, child marriage, incestuous marriages, and ":marriage" between members of the same sex. Adult homosexuals can live with whomever they please with whatever financial arrangements they want. But marriage is quite different – I do not want homosexual couples adopting children, for example.

  • Wes

    First is was "just let us live our lives". Next it was " we are normal like you, same only different". Now it is " approve of our behaviour and lifestyle choices or be destroyed".
    There is no tolerance on the left or amongt the homosexual activists. The deep seated need for approval is needed to overcome the conscience, that must, at all costs be silenced. Demand equal rights all you want, but please explain how it is in any way loving to promote and champion behaviour that shortens the lives of the participants?
    1% of the population demands that the other 99% not only provide negative tolerance, but now they want, no, demand positive affirmation. PC at it's worst, promoting behaviour that destroys the participants. So who are the real haters??

  • Mike

    I don't really know where this article is really going. First it seems to say that it's good to support homosexuality but then it's bad to do so. Then it rambles about Political Correctness. Its trying to give a tolerance message, except that tolerance isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Anyone who thinks that homosexuals are or were ever "oppressed" are really delusional or bought into the PC crowd. The truth is that homosexuals are never treated as second class citizens unlike black people or women.

    Why does Sean Avery needs to be applauded for supporting homosexuality anyways? Why can't the article just say that Avery didn't necessarily did the wrong thing or the likes or that his (neutral) efforts are derailed by the PC crowd who tried to support him and such. But no, he must be applauded as if the author's trying to appeal to the homosexual readers or something.

  • kblink45

    Is hockey really so popular among gay people that a backlash would hurt ratings? I doubt it. This is not an economic response, but an irrational one based in fear. Either the company's lawyers fear future litigation or its executives fear being made uncomfortable at cocktail parties. Either way: very effective strategy. Maybe we should adopt it.

  • BEM

    This article is all over the place. It not anyones business what you do if you are not harming another. Mind your own business and maybe we can all get along.

  • Trent

    I'm gay. I like hockey.

    • ajnn

      I am not gay and I do not like hockey. I am deeply disturbed at one of someone else's nation's most cherished traditions has been hijacted by the gay agenda.

      As soon as i determine which nation's cherished tradition has been hijacted I will support them unconditionally.

      seriously : it is sad that the guy lost his job for saying something controversial. i wonder why he wanted to comment on this issue ?

      • Damien

        lol "gay agenda".

        What a joke.

  • Jason

    I think this author is not being completely honest;

    "(I agree with Avery on this one: It’s none of this writer’s business who wants to marry)."

    I doubt that includes brothers who want to marry sisters, brothers who want to marry brothers, sisters who want to marry sisters, fathers/sons, mothers/daughters, etc. At least be honest that you're still selective in who may marry…..that is, unless you think family members should be able to marry.

  • SeaMystic

    History repeating itself? Israel is being set up, as Czechoslovakia was in the 30s. Chamberlaine has reincarnated. If the Democracies had stood firm prior to the dismantling of Czechoslovakia, the War might have cost 100,000 casualties. The result of submitting to Hitler, cost about 47 million casualties within 8 years.
    Prepare for Total War against Islam now to salvage Democracies, otherwise think Enslavement or Billions of casualties in the next few years.
    Sign the "Ban Islam" petition at:

  • Joe Hockey Dad

    Consider the venue for this article… A blog for whining white people how think their lives have been hijacked by scary people who aren't exactly like them or don't think exactly like them. Call it "Tea Bagger Correctness"

    • ajnn

      "Tea Bagger Correctness". Please trot your hate speech out the door and stay away you conservative-hating bigot.

      Bigotry can encompass more than race or religion. It can include ethnic identity and core beliefs.


    Joe Hockey Dad… Maybe a nice game of powder-puff touch football is more your speed? Marriage is between one man and one woman. Those who want to make that change will destroy America – which was built on founding principles. One of those is traditional marriage. Go marry your goat for all I care – but do it in Canada JHD. Where men are men, and sheep are nervous.

    • Colin

      "Marriage is between one man and one woman of the same race." ~ Bobzilla in 1967.

      • ajnn

        who is bobzilla ? is he a real person ?

        • Colin

          Apparantly, unless fake people post here.

  • Lucas

    I don't hate gay people, I just think they shouldn't be afforded the same rights as everybody else. /sarcasm

  • TJ Gray

    Saying that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry is inherently anti-homosexual… the two cannot be separated from each other…. insert any other social subgroup into those statements and people would be outraged; "I am not anti-Semitic but I don't believe Jews should be able to marry"…. or how about "I'm not racist but I believe in the traditional definition of marriage between one white man and one white woman"… If you do not fully support full equality for all Americans, than you are bigoted by omission… As JFK said about the African American's struggle for civil rights:

    "A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality."

  • Hank

    I have been in a same sex marriage since 2008 (when it was legal for a short time in California); since then, nothing has gone wrong with the sanctity of marriage, or divorce for other kinds of marriage. People think too much.