- by Jennifer Conway (@NHLHistoryGirl)
A sincere thank you from Backhand Shelf to Jennifer and Ian for sharing their conversation.
We live in an instantaneous world. Within seconds of an event, it is tweeted, retweeted, blogged about, and judged. As poet Charles Baudelaire said, “The world only goes ’round by misunderstanding.”
A misunderstanding on several levels happened when Flyers Director of Player Development Ian Laperriere was quoted in the Philadelphia Daily News. The Daily News had written an article about Nick Cousins, a Flyers prospect, who had been arrested and charged in an Ontario court with sexual assault. The charges are still pending.
“At the pro level, teams expect you to be an adult and act like one,” Laperriere said. “He’s got a good heart . . . Let’s be honest, stuff like that has been happening forever. You can’t get away with anything now. He can’t put himself in those situations.
“He’s been in trouble with this stuff, but hopefully that’s all going to go away. Part of my job is telling him that he needs to learn from that. You need to be careful what you’re doing. All of our prospects need to learn from his situation.”
“Happening forever?” “Can’t get away with anything?” It appeared Laperriere was dismissing the victim, downplaying the charges, and acknowledging rape happens, but hey, what can we do?
Of course, this is where the misunderstanding starts. Laperriere doesn’t claim he was misquoted, only that his remarks are misconstrued because he failed to be entirely clear on what he was trying to say.
I vented on Twitter about his remarks and the article as a whole. But somehow, something felt off to me. You see, I’d met Ian Laperriere before, tweeted with him before and this just didn’t seem to be in line with his character.
After a brief discussion with Bill Metzer (who covers the Flyers for several organizations), I wrote Mr. Laperriere an email. Here’s what I offered: Read the rest of this entry »