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article imageNHL management company slams Sean Avery's pro-gay stance

By Brian Bradley     May 10, 2011 in Sports
A high-profile Canadian sports management agency has publicly called out NHL player Sean Avery for supporting gay marriage.
Uptown Sports Management released a series of tweets yesterday citing Avery as providing “misguiding support,” after he appeared in a 30-second public service announcement made by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in the United States.
The tweet, written by Todd Reynolds, vice-president of Uptown Sports Management, read, “Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender 'marriage.' Legal or not, it will always be wrong.” It was posted under the handle @uptownhockey.
Uptown’s response to Avery’s endorsement unleashed a tirade of content on Twitter and became a trending topic in minutes.
In an attempt to clarify his comments, Reynolds later posted, “This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal... But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.”
Reynolds spoke on TSN Radio 1050 Monday to further clarify.
“I'm a little disappointment in some of the response,” said Reynolds. “If you oppose a viewpoint, you're immediately targeted by some people as a hater, a bigot, intolerant, homophobic and many other terms. That's obviously not the case for people who know me. I don't hate anyone and I'm certainly not a bigot.”
Reynold’s management company represents multiple notable NHL players including Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators, Dustin Jeffrey of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators.
Avery, a winger in his fifth seasons with the New York Rangers and no stranger to bad press, is believed to be one of the first professional athletes to publicly endorse gays in professional sports and marriage equality.
Produced by the HRC, the commercial is part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign. In it, Avery says, “I'm Sean Avery and I'm a New Yorker for Marriage Equality. I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated and that applies to marriage. Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love. Join me in supporting marriage equality.”
Avery, “knows what it means to be a leader -- on and off the ice," said Brian Ellner, senior New York strategist for the HRC, in a statement on their web site. “As the first professional athlete in the state to publicly support marriage equality, his voice is sure to resonate. Like a supermajority of New Yorkers, he believes in the freedom of all loving, committed couples to marry.”
Originally from Pickering, Ontario, Avery had previously gone on record to the Toronto Sun saying he supports professional athletes coming out of the closet.
“If there’s a kid in Canada or wherever, who is playing and really loves the game… I’ll stand beside him in the dressing room while he tells his teammates he is gay. Maybe if Sean Avery is there, they would have less of a problem with it,” he said.
More about Sean avery, NHL, New york rangers, Uptown Sports Management, Gay marriage
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