Jeremy Roenick said yesterday that audio/video “snippets” in which he said hockey fans can “kiss my [butt]” were taken out of context.
The Flyers center was quoted over the weekend at Mario Lemieux’s charity golf tournament outside Pittsburgh. His remarks about the fans made national headlines.
“Before I went into my rant, I was talking about the game of hockey, about getting it back on the ice, about what we have to do for the fans and telling people it’s not about who wins or loses, it’s about the game,” Roenick said.
“But the media picked out the negative stuff… . Don’t show snippets of the interview; show the whole interview, the whole message. My message during the interview was: How do we make the game more appealing to the fans?”
Roenick said his rant began when someone suggested the NHL lockout was the players’ fault.
“That got my gall,” he said. “We gave more back to the owners in this deal than any other sport has done. Before that question, I was talking about the game, how it was important to make it up to the fans and do something for them, and then that question came.”
A partial video clip from TSN.ca shows Roenick talking very calmly about the game of hockey and even apologizing for its absence.
In the clip, Roenick talks about how much “the players have hurt” hockey and “might not have been right” in the lockout, a position that certainly won’t please the NHL Players’ Association.
Roenick says the new deal has to allow “the owners to make money.” He then says that “fans should realize how much the players gave up” before blaming them as being spoiled.
“We’re going to make the game better for the fans,” he says in the video clip. “If you don’t realize that, then don’t come.”
The next clip jumps to his rant. Roenick said yesterday the question that provoked him was whether fans should blame the players. Roenick also said he left several messages with ESPN yesterday demanding to know why the network didn’t show the full video clip of what preceded his rant.
I dunno, I liked the part where Roenick said “you guys are just jealous.” I can’t imagine why that didn’t make the public fall in love with hockey players.