Denver Post Avs writer suspended for Twitter rant on eve of NHL season
DENVER — On the eve of the 2014-2015 NHL season, the Denver Post announced it would be suspending its top hockey writer for two weeks due to “inappropriate language used on Twitter.”
Adrian Dater, who has worked for the Post since 1991, began a rant on Twitter Saturday night by posting a 2011 video of then-Buffalo Sabres prospect Brayden McNabb elbowing Avs prospect Joey Hishon in the face, knocking him unconscious.
The video accompanied this tweet:
Dozens replied to Dater’s since-deleted tweet, with many objecting to the negative connotation he attributed to a slang term for a particular part of the female anatomy, and many others objecting to Dater’s slight being directed at McNabb, who is now a member of the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings.
It seems Post Editor Greg Moore also objected, issuing a statement on Dater’s two-week, unpaid suspension, which was announced on Tuesday night.
“Journalists need to recognize that they need to be professional on all platforms. Social media is no different,” Moore said. “The language Adrian used is unacceptable, and he knows it.”
Dater has since apologized for the tweet, as well.
But it wasn’t just that initial tweet that led to Dater’s suspension, the Post confirmed. The punishment also had to do with the bevy of responses that Dater, who also works as a columnist for Bleacher Report, issued to those who criticized his first tweet about McNabb.
In his dozens of replies, Dater took multiple shots at those who lambasted his lacking amount of political correctness as well as the millennial generation. He also made fun of two Twitter users’ avatars, insinuated there are certain things only men understand and blamed his usage of the term p—- on the time period in which he was raised.
But perhaps the most riled-up reply Dater issued was an email he sent to Sporting News writer Jesse Spector, which Spector later made public on Twitter.
Even before his initial tweet about McNabb on Saturday, it seemed Dater had a long-running feud with the NHL defenseman.
In a blog post for the Denver Post earlier this year, Dater wrote this of McNabb:
Brayden McNabb will probably always be best remembered for a pathetic cheap shot on Avs prospect Joey Hishon in the 2011 Memorial Cup. McNabb is one of those marginally talented punk players who might just make himself a nice living in the NHL. Be prepared to hate him. A lot.
He also issued the following tweet, which has since been deleted:
Brayden McNabb’s miserable NHL career stats just flashed on screen. If not for cheap shots to back of head, he’s no use to a team.
For what it’s worth, McNabb apologized in 2012 for the elbow that sent Hishon, a 2010 first-round draft pick by the Avs, spiraling into a 22-month-long concussion recovery.
“If I could bring it back and not do it, I would for sure,” McNabb said. “It’s something that you don’t want. I wouldn’t want that on myself, so I definitely wouldn’t want it for anyone else.”
Finally back to full strength a season ago, Hishon was called up to the Avs’ roster during their playoff push a season ago. Though he was given a shot, he did not break camp with the team this season.