Home > General NHL News > Avery’s Support For Same Sex Marriage Under Fire

Avery’s Support For Same Sex Marriage Under Fire

Avery showed his support for gay marriage in a New York-based campaign, and already faced backlash. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sean Avery isn’t a person you’ll usually see get a positive review from me on this blog. We all know that, on the ice, he does the best job of annoying opposing fans and players. His barrage of antics include the infamous screening of Martin Brodeur in the playoffs, leading to the formation of the “Avery Rule.”

Avery deserves credit for taking a public stance on a hot-button issue. Athletes in today’s society are trained to keep their mouths shut and stifle their opinions. We rarely, if ever, get to see their take on issues affecting the greater world around them. Which is why it was so refreshing to see Avery come out and show his support for gay marriage. The move would, inevitably, come with some backlash. No one expected it to come from a player agent.

Uptown Sports Management, a firm representing 11 NHL players, cast the first stone. Vice president Todd Reynolds used the company’s official Twitter feed to fire back at Avery. His tweets included the following:

Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender “marriage.” Legal or not, it will always be wrong.

A few things jump out about the tweet. The word misguided immediately jumps out at you. That’s a pretty strong choice of words. Think about all the other words you could use. He’s not attacking the decision as much as Avery with the use “misguided.” Also, putting quotes around marriage displayed Reynold’s lack of respect for the proposition. It’s not considered real marriage, and therefore needs the quotes.

Of course, Reynolds offered the “it’s not bigotry, I just believe in marriage between a man and a woman” argument. And, in his tweets, he never uses derogatory language towards homosexuals or their relationships. In all regards, it seems like a logical and well thought out rebuttal.

Reynolds, however, crossed the line by using the company’s Twitter feed. Is Reynold’s opinion the opinion of everyone from Uptown Sports Management? Sure seems like it now. And, whether he wants to admit it or not, Reynolds crossed professional boundaries. He placed his firm squarely within the context of a much larger social and moral debate. He expressed his own opinions, not that of the company. You just don’t do that publicly. It’s Business 101 – keep your personal life out of the business.

The attack isn’t bad. A little personal and a little strongly worded, but responsible. But Uptown Sports Management will now face several questions. Reynolds put the firm in the crosshairs, and in the process risked future business. If they can call out a random player, will they ultimately protect their own?

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