Sean Avery has been the subject of bloggers and beat writers’ keyboards for the past 48 hours following his arrest for shoving a police officer at his home in Hollywood early Friday morning after neighbors called the police because of loud music coming from Avery’s home.
Today, Larry Brooks of the New York Post suggests that although Avery has embarrassed the NHL and more importantly the New York Rangers- for if not for them, Avery probably would not be in the NHL today- the biggest embarrassment is for Avery himself.
“This isn’t about Avery’s standing on the Rangers, which is no more or less tenuous now than it has been throughout the offseason, and this isn’t even about Avery’s standing within the NHL, a league that historically has differentiated between conduct in and out of the arena when it comes to crime and punishment.
But being arrested for battery on a police officer, even if the charge is dismissed along the way, does not help Avery be taken seriously as a social progressive, and it does not make it any more likely he will be called upon to lobby legislators on behalf of issues about which he cares deeply and for which he has been an effective advocate.”
Brooks hit the nail on the head. Avery plays in New York, a city whose police department is viewed in some of the brightest lights in the country. People, including many Rangers fans, won’t look to kindly to Avery following the allegations. But let’s be frank here: shoving a police officer is nothing compared to seriously injuring or killing one. Not to condone it, but Avery isn’t be placed on death row.
Avery has stated he will not be a life-long hockey player, and once he hangs up the skates he believes he will move towards another career, probably in fashion or some other social industry (he does own several restaurants and bars). Having a demerit on your reputation like battering an officer doesn’t look great.
But at the end of the day, this is America, and Americans have short attention spans and even shorter memories. A villain today is a hero tomorrow. I don’t think Avery’s status with Rangers fans will take a hit, especially after his antics bait an opposing player into a penalty, or his first run-in with Martin Brodeur.
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