BOSTON – Underneath the agitating, mischief-loving hockey exterior of Brad Marchand lies the beating heart of a pretty good person.
The Bruins pest and top-line left winger showed that again over the past couple of days when he responded to an individual on Twitter who had harassed him with at least one homophobic tweet following Boston’s Thursday night win in Buffalo. Within minutes after the game Marchand had quoted the Twitter account's hateful and ignorant comments and responded with a message of his own:
This derogatory statement is offensive to so many people around the world your the kind of kid parents are ashamedof https://t.co/sfVcEOPC4J— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) December 30, 2016
Within hours, the offending @DJ_Redd_Baron Twitter account had been deleted and Marchand did his part to remove at least one hateful, anonymous account from a social media world rife with them. Marchand told reporters prior to Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win over the Sabres at TD Garden that he felt like it was time for him to take a stand after seeing too much of that vile, cowardly stuff online.
“I just feel that there are so many people on Twitter that are allowed to say and do whatever they want and we're in the spotlight. It's tough to respond because we get criticized way beyond what we probably should,” said Marchand. “I just figured most people, they can say whatever they want behind their keyboard. They never have to answer for it and they're not used to the backlash that comes with what they say, too.
“I think getting that out there, I knew everyone would jump on it and kind of go after the guy so I didn't have to and it worked. The guy deleted his Twitter [account]. And look, most people can't take the criticism with what they say and they don't think about how it affects people. I thought that was a pretty bad comment and, nowadays, it's not right to go after people like that.”
Marchand said he also has friends in the LGBT community, so he’s undoubtedly seen up close how hurtful some of the insults and hateful innuendo can be to people when they become targeted.
“I have a few friends that are in same-sex relationships, so I don't stand for [those kind of comments] and didn't think it was right, so I thought I had to respond,” said Marchand.
Good for Marchand, who undoubtedly won some new fans after sounding off on his thoughts loud and clear in a tweet that’s gaining some positive notoriety for the star Bruins forward.