New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo is making social media headlines again
There’s no denying that for the most part, hockey players stay out of politics. That goes for pretty much all New York Rangers players except Tony DeAngelo who has once again made headlines for his social media activities.
Thursday, after President Trump’s Twitter account was permanently deactivated, DeAngelo closed his Twitter accounts (both his and his podcast) and vented on Instagram. Before departing Twitter he posted the following:
— hockey struggle tweets (@htstruggletwt) January 8, 2021
Once DeAngelo learned that Instagram had deactivated Trump’s account he moved to Parler,. Although Parler describes itself as an “unbiased free speech social network,” it was removed from the Google Play store as part of a Google policy “that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence.” Apple is threatening to pull the app as well.
Here we go again
We’ve been down this road before. DeAngelo has been an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump and has raised the ire of many in the social media world. This time, he may have really crossed a line and the Rangers organization will have to decide what to do. Here is the headline on Yahoo News: “Rangers’ Tony DeAngelo throws tantrum after Twitter bans Donald Trump”
The full story on Yahoo called his actions “odious” and described his “Watch Your Tone” podcast as a platform “to more freely spew extreme, antagonistic political ideologies, COVID-19 denialism, and staunch support of the outgoing president.”
Of course, this has generated a lot of reaction, mostly on social media. There are some calls for the Rangers to take a stance regarding his social media activities. Others say he should be traded. Some defend him while saying he is allowed to exercise free speech.
DeAngelo is treading on thin ice here. Despite what Yahoo says, DeAngelo appears to have not used language that advocates sedition or supports what took place in Washington on Wednesday.
For the most part, his podcasts have been related to hockey and have steered clear of partisan politics. That said, he has been outspoken about Trump.
This is what he posted on Instagram.
“If they let Parler back up at some point I will be on Parler. Until then I will not be using social media apps. For all the people who support me I appreciate it and will continue to try to interact with your guys. Same goes for @wytpodcast.”
DeAngelo should take his own advice and stay away from social media apps. If he wants to use Parler that is his choice, but it probably wouldn’t be wise since it’s not exactly a hotbed of hockey chatter and would say a lot about the audience he is trying to reach.
Similarly, Blue Line Station would like nothing more than to steer clear of politics. If that’s what you want, there are plenty of places to find it. The topic here is hockey. However, when politics enter the hockey world, as it did this summer with the Black Lives Matter movement and it has today, it is a subject we need to address, especially when it could affect a New York Rangers player.
The hockey season starts in less than a week. That’s where the focus should be and hopefully this won’t become a bigger issue, though it is an issue that the Rangers brain trust needs to address, internally or publicly.
Ironically, one year ago today, DeAngelo had his finest moment as a hockey player and as a Ranger with a hat trick and five points in one game against the Devils. His popularity was never higher and he is dangerously close to losing it.