Jeremy Roenick isn’t taking back his comments, nor is he charging misquote, but he’s saying his comments about fans were taken out of context by the majority of media outlets, especially in the US. He even left several messages with ESPN asking for more fair coverage:
“Before I went into my rant, I was talking about the game of hockey, about getting it back on the ice, about what we have to do for the fans and telling people it’s not about who wins or loses, it’s about the game. But the media picked out the negative stuff. Don’t show snippets of the interview; show the whole interview, the whole message. My message during the interview was: How do we make the game more appealing to the fans?”
It’s an easy charge to make by any professional athlete. But if you give a two minute interview and release a tirade at the end of it, that’s going to be the story. When you say things like he said, even if in the context of a calm interview, you put yourself in the position to look like an idiot. He should know that by now…
And lashing out at fans, even if it were a small block of them, is the last thing players should be doing right now. And Roenick lashed out at around 60-65% of fans with his comments about how fans who see players as greedy shouldn’t watch/attend games next season. Sorry JR, but it’s easy enough for us not to show up or care. And your comments only make it easier…
UPDATE 6:58 PM
More from JR:
“But the media picked out the negative stuff. … Don’t show snippets of the interview; show the whole interview, the whole message. My message during the interview was: How do we make the game more appealing to the fans?”
You just have to go to the school of Howard Dean to learn that an angry outburst can overshadow an entire message. It is not just what you say, but how you say it. Reportedly, Mario Lemieux had similar comments before JR’s conference time, where he said the players aren’t greedy and this new CBA is exhibit A for proof. But you don’t see his name plastered all over the headlines. Because he said it with respect and didn’t say “kiss my ass” at the end of each sentence.
Unfortunately, a reader of the Vancouver Province has taken the opportunity to use the JR rant as proof that NHL players are dumb:
“Not only are the players spoiled and cocky, they are also generally poorly educated. The majority of National Hockey League players barely have their Grade 12. The majority of us who buy tickets are educated enough to know that the outcome of this dispute would end this way.”
Well, I’m not going to go through every team, but Krzysztof Oliwa (computer genius), Igor Larionov (wine connoisseur), and Steve Moore (Harvard, degree in environmental science) are a few names on the NHL Honor Roll, not to mention all the NHLers who played college hockey I could list.