From The Ice Rink to The Coffee Shop

From The Ice Rink to The Coffee Shop

In a world so obsessed with social media, it is easy to forget the fragility of life and how fast things can change. This leads many to question where the line is when it comes to covering more personal stories. 

Recently former NHL forward Donald Brasher was seen working at a Tim Hortons in Quebec City, Canada. 

Brashear, who had earned roughly $16 million during his 16-year NHL career, has had a difficult time transitioning to the regular world following his retirement from professional hockey in 2015. His difficulties with substance abuse and other legal troubles have been well documented by various Canadian news outlets. 

Originally, the story on Brashner’s new job was reported by Canada’s National Post. Their original post was deleted because they used a photo of a different former player, Georges Laraque. 

The National Post later apologized for their negligence after Laraque tweeted them. 

This sparked a media firestorm covering the relatively minor story amongst the usual hustle and bustle of the NHL season. Many of the reactions demonized the article as a whole because of its dehumanizing and tabloid nature. 

Several major Canadian outlets were quick to cover the story, with CTV and The Montreal Gazette taking a broader approach. 

 

 

Not all of the reactions were in complete opposition to  The National Post. One of the publication’s former writers defended the companies photo mishap while also criticizing their choice to cover the story.

The public outrage led Fox News and Today to discuss where the hypothetical line is for journalists and whether or not a story like this deserves the attention that it captured. 

Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman wrote about Brashear in his most recent 31 Thoughts. His thoughts encapsulate the public reaction and a genuine care Brashear. 

Ultimately, the story is about a man who once lived in the public eye and was admired for the role he played on the ice. The publicized stories reflect the negative aspects of his station and professional career, rather than what he has had to overcome.

The entire story is summed up in a tweet from ESPN’s senior hockey writer, Greg Wyshynski.

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