It is unfortunate what allegedly happened to the victims of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. It is also unfortunate to see a some use Sandusky as a punch-line. It can be even more upsetting to see a professional broadcaster use it when arguing with fans on Twitter.
Enter Philadelphia Flyers broadcaster Chris Therien, a former NHL player and now the radio color analyst for the Flyers radio team.
Sunday night the Flyers were struggling against the New Jersey Devils in game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals when star forward Claude Giroux threw an shoulder in to the head of Danius Zubrus of the Devils along the boards. Giroux was called for the penalty, rightfully so, and could face a suspension from the league. Therien, on the other hand, does not believe the Flyers' best offensive player will receive a suspension, and apparanetly the Pittsburgh Penguins fans on Twitter did not take kindly to his opinion.
As far as I can tell, it started when Therien was asked by one of his followers if Giroux would be suspended before game five in Philadelphia. His response...
After replying to what appeares to be a Penguins fan by bringing up the fact that "Crosby started 4 fights and finished none." This led to this follow-up tweet...
I'm so sorry to tell all of you haters this especially the pens fans but Giroux ain't getting a thing, so get back to the golf course.— Chris Therien (@ctherien6) May 7, 2012
At one point in Therien's Twitter rant drew a reply from a Pittsburgh area Penn State fan, to which the fired up Therien replied with this tweet, which has since been deleted but was captured in screen cap form before it was...
Therien soon backtracked from this particular tweet, which as I said was deleted.
No it was a Penn st jab about the heat were hearing from pens fans. Absolutely not about that (cont) tl.gd/haggqo— Chris Therien (@ctherien6) May 7, 2012
[There] is absolutely nothing funny about that situation. It was a response only to a tweeter with a penn St name in his Bio. Apologies to all offended. By no means was that intended to harm anyone. [link]
I would certainly hope all of you know that was supposed to be a "joke" I certainly did not mean to offend anyone and if I did I am truly sorry. I have fun with all pens fans and did not mean it to be derogatory in any form. [link]
It's good that Therien apologized for his ill-advised attempt at a wise crack, but there is still absolutely no excuse for making such a joke, especially for a professional broadcaster even over the medium of social networking. In fact, this is a situation that shows how quickly word can spread on social networking, and should be used as a textbook example of "think before tweet."
Get more great Penn State news and analysis over at Nittany Lions Den.