NHL star retweets message wishing commissioner dead

In the midst of yet another labor dispute, the Chicago Blackhawks' Dave Bolland sends out a retweet that he subsequently deems a mistake. Should there be consequences?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
This retweet still remains on Bolland's Twitter feed. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I know that hockey is important to some misguided souls.

I can't entirely fathom why, but I'm prepared to respect those who feel the need for a little institutionalized violence in their lives.

The thing is, the National Hockey League also enjoys institutionalized lockouts that seem to make whole seasons disappear.

There's one occurring right now. Progress seems to be running slightly behind the pace of DSL.

Perhaps one shouldn't be surprised, then, that the Chicago Blackhawks' Dave Bolland appears to support the, um, death of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

The what?

The way that ESPN slapshoots it, Bolland espied a tweet from fan Jonah Deschamps that read: "Can I get a RT for wanting Bettman dead?"

In a finger-jerk reaction, he retweeted it.

I am not sure how many seconds, minutes, or hours it took him to find the dawn of realization.

However, his Twitter feed no longer includes the retweet.

Moreover, Bolland told ESPN: "It was a mistake, I never meant to retweet that out. I like to retweet for a lot of my fans, and I just retweeted the wrong thing. I feel bad about it."

Perusal of Bolland's Twitter feed does, indeed, reveal a penchant for retweeting. One might have imagined, though, that it might also reveal a penchant for reading.

It's not as if Bolland has a secret crush on Bettman.

For one of his retweets of last week read: "Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like 3 things. 1. @NHL Hockey ASAP 2. Get rid of Gary Bettman 3. Cindy Crawford In that order. #Santa #NHL."

In normal corporate life, what might have been the sanction for an employee who retweeted that he would rather support the death of, say, the chairman of the board?

In recent times, a woman has been fired for offering a racist, anti-Obama post on her private Facebook page.

And just a few days ago, Lindsey Stone was fired by her employers for a rude photo taken at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Again, this was posted to her private Facebook page.

In Bolland's case, the retweet was entirely public. But I wonder whether anyone will care. Somehow, expectations of hockey players aren't always too high.

Please don't imagine that all hockey players are the same. Some are both intelligent and self-effacing. One even managed to marry Carrie Underwood.

No, that wasn't Dave Bolland.