There Are Plenty Of Great Washington Capitals Fans And Ted Leonsis Gets Bullied Too
When it comes to amount of physical and emotional abuse I can take, there’s an entire catalogue of evidence of my ability to be tolerant, understanding and good natured about all the many horrors that have occurred in my life. I don’t need to explain it, because it is openly and publicly chronicled within my blogs, vlogs and audio supplied to the internet public. If you chose not to explore the details I have provided and chose to react with no understanding of what I have endured, your opinion is uniformed and not of any concern to me.
When it comes to the Washington Capitals fans, I know many of them. Many of them are familiar with me. They know I am upset with them and I have always respect them. To any Washington Capitals fan who is not familiar with me, I will let you know that I was a committed and dedicated fan of the Washington Capitals for more than 30 years. I have been a hockey fan since I was a very small child. I gave everything I had to that organization. I promoted charities. I brought many first-time hockey fans to Washington Capitals games. I have personally met Ted Leonsis. My issue is not one comment. My issue is not one hockey game. My issue is a sum total of many years of abuse that goes beyond anything that should happen to a person in public by fans of the same team. The fact that I am a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning now is not at all of relevance. It’s not about a rival hockey team. It’s about the fact that I have the right to stand-up for my rights.
To give a brief synopsis of the sort of hate bestowed upon me that is not by any means totally complete, but gives an overview of the abuse I have received by Washington Capitals fans, let me begin with the 5 death threats sent to me via e-mail. There’s not one shred of evidence to be found anywhere in pixels or the physical world to indicate I did anything to merit those death threats. How many of you would not be hurt by someone sending you an e-mail that told you that your children deserved to die? How many of you would not be hurt by having the same Washington Capitals fan continue to send you pictures of puppies being slaughtered because he didn’t like the fact that I was invited to sit in Ted Leonsis’s Owners Box? How many of you would be happy about being kicked in the back in of head over and over and over and over and over and over again by a Caps fan who did nothing but talk about everything but the hockey game. Even after that Caps was asked nicely several times to stop kicking me in the head, the behavior continued. That Caps fans talked very loudly about how a tampon got stuck in her and went on to explain all the many things she tried to do to extricate the stuck tampon from her “snatch”. There were a total of ten children within earshot of this Caps fan. Three parents removed their children before the game ended as a direct result of this Caps fan.
The exent of evidence I have secured to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt in any court of law that many Capitals fans behave in horrible, nasty, unruly, verbally abusive, openly disrespectful ways in a public building is immense. I’ve stated this many, many, many times openly in publicly in many public venues and formats as well; not all Washington Capitals fans behave in the ways I describe. There are many great Washington Capitals fans. Many of those Washington Capitals are also subjected to the behavior I describe and they don’t deserve to have that happen to them either. I have openly and publicly appreciated and commented on many of the Washington Capitals blogs. I may not have agreed with all the sentiments and I may not have appreciated the way some of the information was presented, but I’ve never disrespected their rights to blog. They have done a lot of hard work over the years. They have generated a large portion of the “pixels” that Ted Leonsis is so happy to comment about in the form of the Washington Capitals social media. Those blogs are their intellectual property. There is evidence out there that On Frozen Blog used a quote from Ted Leonsis out of context and it generated a lot of angry comments. There was back and forth between some of the social bloggers regarding the On Frozen Blog post. Eventually, On Frozen Blog posted a open statement that there was a post using a quote that was a bit out of context and stated that it should have created the original in a different way so as not to promote an angry misunderstanding. I was one of the people who openly and publicly made a comment on On Frozen Blog that I appreciated the retraction and noted that it took courage to admit that perhaps the quote did misrepresent Ted Leonsis’s entire public statements. It was a very upright thing to do and it was appreciated.
In case the sentence in my previous post did not register to Washington Capitals fans, I actually care about your safety even if you hate me and wish me dead. I stated that I’d like to address the safety issues in and around the Verizon Center. As a citizen, I do have the right to notice safety issues that are present in and around a public in which millions of people frequent. I, and several other Washington Capitals fans almost became victims of one of those safety issues in February of 2010. If people believe the correct response to other people caring is hate and death, I have the right to disagree with those people.
I have also stated numerous times openly in public in many different formats and public forums that kids who enter ANY NHL arena are in public. Their parents are the people who have the right to make the decision whether or not their children should hear the following sentence; “Alexander Ovechkin is such a fag, he probably has an asshole so large a bus could park in it.” There are many other examples of these sorts of comments I could provide, but that one is sufficient to give you the gist. I stood next to a grown man at a Washington Capitals who said right out loud, in front of her mother, to a little girl who could not have been more that 10 years old, “I’d fuck the shit out you if your mom weren’t here.” How many parents of any NHL team would feel that is acceptable in anyway?
The fact is, Ted Leonsis knows I have received death threats and he knows some of the openly and public comments some of his fans make using social media, because I e-mailed him and I know he got those e-mails. I received replies to those e-mails. There is verifiable proof that I made attempts to address my personal concerns directly with Ted Leonsis. I didn’t just mention the man in public in my previous blog to hurt him and disrespect him. There is clear and open evidence all over the place that I have given Ted Leonsis respect and have not verbally abused him or bullied him. Ted Leonsis knows all about the many Washington Capitals fans who bully, hate and sit at their keyboard typing horrible and awful things to him. I don’t think Ted Leonsis should be bullied and threatened either. His rights get violated as well. Let me openly and clearly state that for the record as well.
The most important distinction between Ted Leonsis and me is, however, I am not getting attention with the generation of public mentions of my NHL franchise by openly and publicly putting my thoughts of the internet. I do not own a business that uses social media to make profit or draw attention to my business to make profit. There is distinction and it is a legal distinction. If Ted Leonsis takes it upon himself to subject himself to the kind of abuse he receives from Washington Capitals fans to draw attention to his NHL franchise and all his many ventures, he has ever right to that. No Washington Capitals fan has signed a waiver stating that they are willing to be subject to such open and horrible attacks through the use of social media to be a fan of the Washington Capitals. As an NHL owner, he doesn’t have the right to expect his fans to sign such a waiver to be fans of his team if no other NHL owner is legally obligated to do so. It is part of being an NHL fan on social media when I mention the Tampa Bay Lightning on social media. If I openly and publicly continued to bully and harass any other person on the internet in social media and the Federal Bureau of Investigation game to my door and escorted me into a G-ride, because the person I bullied on the internet filed a complaint against me, I would be personally and legally held responsible for my actions via text in violating the rights of another through the internet. I would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I would face the consequences.
Ted Leonsis did not ask me to sign a waiver giving up my rights to be a free citizen of the United States of America in order to be a fan of the Washington Capitals. Nor did the Washington Capitals. He is the only NHL franchise (majority) owner who aggressively and often expresses himself in a public blog. I have read every single word Ted Leonsis have written in his blog and all of the words he put on the Washington Capitals website before the blog existed. In other words, the evidence of which I have been speaking has accumulated for more than 10 years. The fact that he has openly and publicly continued to provoke comments from people on an open and public internet and has done it by publicly promoting the use of social media as a large and viable source of the generation of pixels for his NHL franchise does, in fact, make him ultimately responsible for that content if he has chosen to pride himself on the fact it benefits the Washington Capitals. It is not a responsible or ethical practice. There are millions of pixels openly public on the internet in the social media of which Ted Leonsis has openly and publicly promoted and touted or given his thoughts on in public that even he is aware of for sure. He knows it exists and he has commented on some of it as well. I did not have the right to be the recipient of the extent and types of abuse I have endured all in the name of the Washington Capitals simply because Ted Leonsis believes it is beneficial to his NHL franchise that hockey fans use social media. If Ted Leonsis really thinks about it, he has to admit my point is valid. I didn’t sign a waiver to become a Washington Capitals fan and because his social media get generated as a result of his open and public encouragement of them, he created the situation and claims he benefits from that situation. Does it seem appropriate for me to receive death threats in order for Ted Leonsis to generate attention for his NHL franchise on social media? Does it seem appropriate that Ted Leonsis openly and publicly encourages the generation of pixels in social media, which he receives for little to no cost to himself, to further his NHL franchise even if those pixels hurt his fans? There is a lot that doesn’t seem right about that situation.
There are plenty of Washington Capitals fans who have been publicly abused via the internet in the name of the Washington Capitals as a direct result of the social media encouraged and supported by Ted Leonsis. If everyone else has no issue with any of it and doesn’t mind the “trolls” putting public verbal abuse on the internet about them, they all the absolute right to tolerate whatever they like.
The problem I have with what transpired on January 13, 2012 while attending a hockey game in the Verizon Center is that it was so particularly harsh and openly repulsive and did, in fact, constitute many counts of public sexual harassment in front of minors (I know what lawyers are everyone and I have spoken to many of them). It was all recorded, and some of it, has been noted in a post I made at the beginning of March 2012. Not one single fan in the Verizon Center has the right to privacy, therefore every statement you make can be used against you in a court of law. It is a public building and there are devices all over the Verizon Center that are openly and publicly displayed in the full knowledge of every fan who enters the building. NHL games are recorded and sent out for broadcast. Every NHL fan is aware of that.
The fact is, I have the right to be openly and publicly concerned that minors are exposed to things outside the glass that the NHL is attempting to even stop and prevent inside the glass. Exposing minors to uncontrolled adult behavior and unfiltered pornographic language on a large scale level should be a concern to any parent. Public is public. I don’t think some of the Washington Capitals fans who verbalize rather loudly in front of minors inside the Verizon Center would be happy campers if they were at the mall and a perfect stranger walked up to their child and said “The Washington Capitals can lick the New York Ranger’s sweaty nutsack little bitch.” Public is public and hockey fandom doesn’t change the rights of free American Citizens.
I myself have dropped the F’bomb in public at hockey games. I have taken steps not to do it loud enough so the kids around me can hear, but once, at a Caps game against the Chicago Blackhawks, I did say it loud enough and both the child and the mother turned around and looked at me. I was not in the right and I did not have the right to expose that mother’s child to explicit language in public. It happens sometimes when we get all passionate about our hockey. These things are to be expected. I am not beyond fault on that count in anyway. I openly and publicly admit it all the time. There are limits. There are many Washington Capitals fans who know exactly what I am talking about when I say that the Verizon Center and the types of behavior that has been displayed in the Verizon Center has changed in a very hostile and not-s0-nice way over the years. Many of the Capitals fans like me spent many years going to Capitals games and were not subjected to most of the behavior that is common place and seems to be the rule not the exception these days.
I have been to every one of the NHL venues. I have attended games wearing opposing teams colors. I am a veteran hockey fan. No one can prove otherwise. I would rather go to a New York Rangers game at MSG wearing a t-shirt that reads “John Tortorella is an Asshole” while handing sticks to Rangers fans, than go to a Caps game at the Verizon Center wearing a Caps jersey fully armed. That should express my point clearly enough. All of angry, nasty abuse happens to Washington Capitals players as well. I will say this, many of the most vocal and openly hateful Washington Capitals fans are equal opportunity haters, that’s for sure. Caps fans bully each other, so this has nothing to do with NHL fandom.
This also has nothing nothing to do with social media in general. There are all sorts of goodies that some might find offensive out there and that also is to be expected. I’m sure I have offended people with my public expression. I have always encouraged people to let me know if that is what I have done. If I am informed respectfully, I have always addressed it, removed it and taken the appropriate steps to apologize. I have not had to do that very many times, but I am a respectful person who understand that we all have rights and hurting others is never my intention when I express myself. My issue is the sheer volume of Washington Capitals fans who continue to repeat nasty and hateful behavior and continue to believe that it is perfectly acceptable. There are federal laws against bullying and there are some Washington Capitals I have absolute proof are violating federal laws by using social media to express their hate. Some Washington Capitals fans, one of which is a fan who has been mentioned by Ted Leonsis several times over the years, have sent more than 2,000 tweets that collectively bully the same people over and over again and contain text that does, in fact, violate federal internet use laws.
I don’t randomly just decide to take action for no reason. I have dropped hints all over the place for people that should have been sufficient. I’m not a sensitive, sissy, hockey fan who felt hurt by one comment. I have physically threatened at a Caps game. All the proof and evidence of everything I have through on behalf of the Washington Capitals is openly and publicly displayed through the years. I don’t need to prove anything to any person who has the opinion I need to make some point in some specified amount of pixels. Exactly where is that written as a rule in this world? All I need to do is have all the proof I need to make a public statement about the evidence I have experienced, gathered and could include in “discovery” in a court of law to prove my point. I have it.
I care about children and I care that many of them are being exposed to and are being taught lessons about public behavior that makes hockey seem that it is a game about disrespect. I have the right to care about the game and to care about children. I also have the right not to be subjected to the threat of death or be sexually harassed multiple times in public in front of minors either. Prove to me I do not have that right?
peace – mia – firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @creasesinger