During the second period of Game 4 between the San Jose Sharks and the L.A. Kings, the Twitter account @LAKings published a joke about sexual assault. It was written by guest live-tweeter Kevin Ryder, an L.A. radio host.
On Thursday at 11:32 p.m. ET, the @LAKings account tweeted an off-colour joke about their player getting roughed up in front of the Sharks net. The tweet compared hockey checks to rape.
Now deleted, the tweet was quickly screen-captured by Twitter users who voiced their outrage. The offending tweet read:
Galiardi gets a penalty for running over Quick. Power Play Kings. Kopitar just got sexually assaulted in front of Niemi.
Anse Kopitar, a Kings forward, was being pushed in front of the Sharks net by defenders. Niemi refers to Sharks goaltender Antii Niemi.
Sean Gentille, senior editor of NHL at Sporting News, replied to the tweet with: "Looks like you guys suck after all."
Another sports journalist, Prescott Rossi, wrote, "It's all fun and games until somebody writes rape jokes on your Twitter feed. Go away, @LAKings."
Around 35 minutes after the deleted tweet, the Kings' Twitter team apologized for the offending tweet, blaming a guest for the sexual-assault snark. "They were inappropriate and do not reflect the LA Kings," the apology read.
We apologize for the tweets that came from a guest of our organization. They were inappropriate and do not reflect the LA Kings.
The Twitter account didn't reply to the matter any further, by time of publication.
The Kings account was taken over during the second period by Kevin Ryder, a morning show host on KROQ-FM, an alternative rock-format radio station in Los Angeles. Sometimes, a sports team's Twitter accounts is controlled by guest live-tweeters to attract fans.
When news circulated about the tweet raising hackles across social media, Ryder tweeted: "Should I apologize? I apologize to the Kings. Not to Deadspin, or ESPN, or any other group taking my joke out of context to be outraged by."
Should I apologize? I apologize to the Kings. Not to Deadspin, or ESPN, or any other group taking my joke out of context to be outraged by.