Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis apologizes for Twitter/Internet dustup
The Tampa Bay Lightning has no written policy regarding what players can or cannot say on their social media pages or twitter accounts. Safe to assume, though, the team likely will reiterate to goaltender Dan Ellis that he has to be a bit more careful.
Cyberspace went a little bonkers Monday night after Ellis on his twitter account, @33dellis, seemed to complain about the 24 percent pay cut NHL players took when the 2004-05 lockout was settled with the new collective bargaining agreement. That was in response to a tweet by Reggie Bush of the NFL's Saints, who bemoaned the owners want the players to take an 18 percent pay cut in their soon-to-be-negotiated CBA.
Despite signing a two-year, $3 million contract with the Lightning, Ellis added, “I am more stressed about money now than I was in college.” That after last month getting into a debate over how players deserve the money they get because they are “specialists.”
Not only did Ellis’ twitter account light up, but twitter users began a trending topic called DanEllisProblems that mocked him and on Wednesday evening was still a going concern. The Internet was full of commentary, most of it negative for what Ellis apparently believed was an innocent comment.
Said Ellis Wednesday in a statement released by the Lightning: “I am deeply sorry if I offended anyone via my recent statements on Twitter. I should have known better. In the future I will aim to be more sensitive while continuing to offer fans access to me through Twitter. I enjoy the interaction and I think the fans do to.”
To be fair, Ellis’ twitter account, with more than 12,000 followers, always has been a fun, breezy read. He even answers fans’ questions. And the Lightning and the league certainly encourage their players to be accessible to the fans. Beyond that, Ellis prefaced the offending tweets with this: “Kind of bored today … what can I stir the pot about today?”
So what did Ellis say?
* “If you lost 18% of your income would you be happy? I can honestly say that I am more stressed about money now then when I was in college.”
* “I can’t explain it and I never thought it would be the case but it is true. $ in no way makes u more happy or makes life much easier.”
* “If you don’t make a lot of money, I don’t expect you to understand in the same way I could never understand what it is like to risk my life … daily as a fire fighter or police officer…especially not a soldier. There r pros and cons to every profession. … U r kidding yourself if u think money makes things any easier.”
To which Ellis got back this tweet:
“u get PAID to PLAY HOCKEY .. suck it up. Feel free to go to work construction if the pressure gets too rough…ignorant.”
“I know exactly what you mean. I’m a single mom on welfare and I always say to myself “at least I’m not a millionaire pro athlete.”
In the heat of the moment, Ellis responded to the barbs.
* “How does asking if you would take a pay cut…saying $ doesn’t make u happy/much easier…stir things up this much?”
* “I even gave you all ample warning and you still bit...when are going to learn to not take me seriously? Some of u got really pissed :(“
* “Simple solution to the sensitive=unfollow! I am not holding a gun at your head to follow so do yourself a favor.”
* “From now on I will just tweet stuff like...driving to rink...drinking coffee...watching TV. That will be fun to read?!?”
* “Ppl r still replying about somethin I tweeted an hour ago. U realize twitter is just a silly way to communicate and not b taken as gospel?”
So, what is the lesson here? As Mike Russo, who covers the Wild for the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweeted: “No matter the point, pro athletes are better off not talking $$$ during such turbulent times.”