Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks are sick of the rumors, and everyone else involved with the team should be, too. After the winger's strong statement Sunday denying the false claims that have surrounded him and the team, it's become clear that what occurred casually in the media over the past year was irresponsible and inappropriate.
"It’s laughable but when it affects your family, when you have two little girls at home and your parents are calling you, it takes a toll," Sharp said Sunday.
Since taking over as editor of Second City Hockey, this is the first time we've entertained or acknowledged these rumors on the site beyond a post detailing denials of discord from Jonathan Toews and the team. However, it continues to be an ongoing topic in the Blackhawks community, including occasionally in these comments sections, and it needs to stop. Now.
We're talking about much more than our favorite athletes, we're talking about husbands, fathers, brothers and family members who have it tough enough living in the spotlight. Spreading false rumors, or not doing enough to combat them, is a disservice to them and the great coverage of the team we often see, and starting now we're going to take a stronger stance against allowing TMZ-like whispers to become a significant part of the discussion.
I can't speak on behalf of the entire Blackhawks community, not only because I'm one blogger but also because I'm fairly new to the scene. With that said, I've been around the team and sports journalism enough to know that what's happened lately is inappropriate, at best, and everyone, from Patrick Sharp and his family to the readers, deserves better.
So this is it. No more off-ice rumors. No more baseless, senseless talking about players' personal lives. This team has given us too much to be treated in response with a barrage of bullshit. We're here to talk hockey -- always have been -- and today we're reiterating that, including in the comments. Any references to the false claims tied to Sharp in the comments will be deleted and further action will be considered upon multiple violations. This should've been a non-discussion from the start, and it's frustrating that it ever got to this point. But it needs to end now. There's a Stanley Cup run to focus on. Leave the off-ice rumors where they belong, and that's in the garbage.