A pro hockey player’s volatile past is sending longtime critics into another spree of online bashing.
New Philadelphia Flyers defenseman, and Trump supporter, Tony DeAngelo has accrued a bad rep within the NHL.
As it becomes increasingly taboo to voice certain political stances in the realm of sports, DeAngelo became a prime target for online vitriol over his conservative-minded takes on America.
After being acquired by Philadelphia this week via trade, the online pushback began for DeAngelo, with some stating that he should have never received a second chance for past behavior.
Noted instances that spawned backlash along his career include DeAngelo’s questioning against the COVID-19 vaccine, speaking on the January 6 riots and getting into an altercation with a teammate.
DeAngelo appeared for a video interview this week to speak candidly on his status in the league and was outright vocal in denouncing any claims of being a racist as he looks to join the Flyers for a new start.
“I’m absolutely not racist at all,” DeAngelo said.
In the video, DeAngelo alluded to the in-house incident from New York and maintained that he and the anonymous player have remained friends.
“There was something I said back in junior,” he added, “people don’t know what it is. I’m not going to go into it. But it was something I regretted. A friend of mine on my team, we had an argument, and we remained friends. The other stories that have come out are totally false, and I think that’s why teams in this league have known that.”
Though DeAngelo has attested to seeking professional help to rehabilitate himself out of using offensive language, the people fueling the online discourse have appeared dismissive of any progress sought by the hockey player.
On Friday, DeAngelo was traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Flyers for a second-round (2024), third-round (2023) and a fourth-round pick (2022). Philadelphia then signed him to a two-year, $10 million contract.
Both sides appeared content after the Hurricane received vital draft capital and the Flyers gained a player coming off a career-best season, stat-wise, and only 26 years of age.
In 2021 (64 games), DeAngelo scored 10 goals, 41 assists and a total of 51 points.
In November 2020, DeAngelo tweeted the following (which garnered backlash):
“Well this be be [sic] my final tweet until the results are in. I hope the people will vote to keep America GREAT and keep an America FIRST agenda. Goodluck Mr. President! #MAGA #KAG”
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell spoke on DeAngelo’s character after signing him in 2021.
“We did our research on who this person is, beyond what the perception of him (is). There’s no doubt that he has made mistakes,” Waddell said.
“We acknowledged that and, more importantly, he recognizes that he’s made mistakes and he knows he’s got to continue to work and grow as a person.”
Twitter could not help but stay upset.
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Follow along on Twitter:@AlejandroAveela