HRC Blog

NHL Players’ Agent Compares Same-Sex Marriage to Beastiality

After NHL superstar Sean Avery teamed up with HRC in a video for our "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" campaign, a Canada-based sports management group that represents some of the sports' biggest names came forward trashing Avery's announcement.  Don Reynolds, the president of Uptown Sports Management Inc., compared same-sex marriage to beastiality, stating "the majority, I think, of Canadians would say that they don't agree with gay marriage – that man and woman were created to be married, not man and man or man and horse, you know?"

Reynolds’ son Todd, who is Vice President of his father’s company, sent a series of tweets from the company’s official twitter account confirming their discriminatory views on the issue:

@uptownhockey Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender "marriage". Legal or not, it will always be wrong.

@uptownhockey To clarify. This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal...

@uptownhockey But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.

Sean Avery was a trending topic on twitter last night and his video on HRC’s YouTube account has been viewed over 150,000 views.  Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since July of 2005.

Uptown Sports' list of clients include Mike Fisher, husband of country music superstar Carrie Underwood, and Mike Brenner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Maple Leafs President Brian Burke, whose gay son was tragically killed in a car accident in 2010, is a proud supporter of LGBT rights and even participated in the 2009 Toronto Gay Pride parade with his son.

In a 2009 interview with ESPN, Burke commented on his son’s coming out, as well as homophobia in hockey:

“I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news didn't alter any of them…” he continued “There are gay men in professional hockey. We would be fools to think otherwise.  And it's sad that they feel the need to conceal this. I understand why they do so, however. Can a gay man advance in professional hockey? He can if he works for the Toronto Maple Leafs!”

Sports agents and hockey professionals are coming out in support of Avery and against Uptown Sports.

Agent Andrew Warren noted on his Twitter feed, “As an admirer of Brendan Burke I felt the need to return to Twitter due to my distaste of @uptownhockey take on the issue of gay marriage.” NHL Star Paul Bissonette: “I agree with Sean Avery and his comments on the same sex marriage issue @NortonSports. If 2 people are happy together let them be happy.”

HRC is calling on Reynolds to apologize for and retract his outrageous misstatement.  We are also calling on the players that Uptown Hockey represents to reject his ignorant remarks.

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