No Room in the NHL for Death Threats: Boston Bruins Jake DeBrusk was Targeted

Jake DeBrusk
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 15: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins waits for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on April 15, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 3-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

On Thursday morning, Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk told Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub that he and his family received death threats after his altercation with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri in Game 2. As the series shifted to Toronto, DeBrusk said that users on social media sent threats.

We know that most of the time, these comments are made without much backbone to them. But this type of behavior anywhere near the game of hockey, or any other sport, is absurd.

Boston Bruins Jake DeBrusk was Targeted With Death Threats

Game 2

In the second period of the second game, the Bruins had a 3-0 lead and were looking for another. Nazem Kadri stole the puck from David Krejci and was almost immediately hit by DeBrusk. The only problem was that, although his shoulder was bracing for the hit, his knee made contact with Kadri. The Leafs forward spun in the air and clutched his left leg once he hit the ice.

Later in the game, Kadri retaliated. DeBrusk laid a hit on Patrick Marleau that sent him to the ice and a few seconds later, Kadri cross-checked DeBrusk in the head — the move that earned him a suspension for the rest of the series.

Death Threats in Hockey

Following the Game 2 win, DeBrusk said in his interview that he and his family members received death threats for what happened in that game. DeBrusk handled it by not checking social media during the series. While he may not have paid much attention to it or thought much of them, death threats don’t belong in sports.

The introduction of social media, and athletes using it, has made these types of threats visible to just about everyone within seconds of thinking of what to say.

It’s so easy for “fans” to create an account with a fake email, fake username and fake picture just to say what they feel without many repercussions. But no one should ever threaten the lives of an athlete or their family members who have done nothing to deserve it.

Think about what these men in all the equipment are doing. They’re playing a game. Yes, they get paid millions of dollars to do so, but the world goes on whether your favourite team wins or loses. It’s a game that so many people around the world grow up playing. They play in the street, on the pond, on the carpet in their homes with mini sticks, nets and pucks.

So to think that these threats are funny is despicable. No one knows the true intentions of these people. While it is likely that these comments and direct messages aren’t made with intention to follow through, there have been incidents where it has happened.

Lastly, this isn’t targeting Leafs fans. The vast majority of fans of the Toronto organization would never do that. This is an issue amongst the few who wear their favourite team’s gear and give a bad reputation to a fan base, no matter which organization they cheer for.


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  1. Agree 100% with the author, but did this article really have to be written? This comes off like a 12 year old or a grandmother wrote this. This stuff happens all the time. Especially whenever Boston or Philly or NY is involved. The player ignored it, they all do. The media needa to ignore it too. That keans you, 12 year-old blogger.


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