Washington Capitals forward Brendan Leipsic set off an NHL firestorm on Wednesday after private Instagram conversations containing vulgar and misogynistic comments leaked on Twitter.
Leipsic has apologized, while statements from the Capitals and NHL lend credence to the veracity of the leaks. The comments have been scrubbed from social media, but as tends to be the case with the internet, screenshots live on.
Leipsic’s comments included attacks on teammates
We’re leaving it up to you to click through if you want to read the vulgar statements, but disparaging comments about his current and former teammates were enough alone to cause problems for the Capitals fourth liner.
Brendan Leipsic even called out his former teammates on the Canucks, like Virtanen, and his current teammates on the Capitals. pic.twitter.com/huuzLxwRHz
— Leah Kessel (@leahflame) May 6, 2020
Other comments included an attack on the appearance of Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid's girlfriend amid a multitude of vulgar sexual comments and opinions on women’s looks.
Leipsic has since deleted his Instagram account.
NHL condemns ‘reprehensible’ comments
Florida Panthers forward Jack Rodewald also took part in the group chat. The NHL condemned both players in a statement released Wednesday evening.
“The National Hockey league strongly condemns the misogynistic and reprehensible remarks made by players Brendan Leipsic and Jack Rodewald in a private group chat that has surfaced on social media,” the statement reads. “There is no place in our league for such statements, attitudes and behavior, no matter the forum. We will address this inexcusable conduct with the clubs and players involved.”
Capitals acknowledge ‘unacceptable’ comments
The Capitals also acknowledged the leaked messages in a statement provided to the Washington Post.
"We are aware of the unacceptable and offensive comments made by Brendan Leipsic in a private conversation on social media,” the statement read. “We will handle this matter internally.”
Leipsic owned up to the comments in an apology Wednesday afternoon. He released the apology after the Capitals statement and prior to the NHL’s.
“Yesterday my friend's Instagram was hacked and an individual circulated images that are representative of private conversations I was a part of,” Leipsic wrote. “I fully recognize how inappropriate and offensive these comments are and sincerely apologize to everyone for my actions.
“I am committed to learning from this and becoming a better person by taking time to determine how to move forward in an accountable, meaningful way. I am truly sorry.”
Based on his journeyman status, the nature of the comments and the fact that some were directed at his teammates, Leipsic’s status with the Capitals and the NHL appears to be on, ahem ... thin ice.
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