New York Rangers' Sean Avery (16) draws blood as he fights with New York Islanders' Micheal Haley (59) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 31, 2011, in Uniondale, N.Y. Avery's support for same-sex marriage has drawn fire from a hockey agent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Kmonicek
TORONTO - New York Ranger Sean Avery's support for same-sex marriage has drawn fire from a hockey agent.
"Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender 'marriage.' Legal or not, it will always be wrong," said a tweet from Todd Reynolds, vice-president of Uptown Sports Management, whose hockey clientele includes Chris Neil, Cody McCormick and Mike Fisher.
Avery, an on-ice agitator who is no stranger to making headlines on and off the playing surface, stated his support for same-sex marriage in a video that is part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, organized by gay-rights organization Human Rights Campaign.
"I'm Sean Avery and I'm a New Yorker for Marriage Equality. I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated and that applies to marriage," Avery says in the video.
"Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love," he adds. "Join me in supporting marriage equality.
After his initial tweet, Reynolds subsequently issued several more.
"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."
He also tweeted: "But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone."
In a subsequent radio interview, Reynolds said he was just saying what he believes.
"I believe in voicing your opinion and not being part of the silent majority," he told TSN radio. "If Sean Avery or any other player can comment on one side of the discussion then—I work in hockey, I'm in hockey 24-7—why can I not comment on it as well?"
Others who have taken part in the marriage equality videos include former president Bill Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actors Julianne Moore and Sam Waterston.