Exonerate me and forget about me – Fully, and Completely; The Morgan Rielly Saga

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Reilly has been cleared of all pending fines and suspensions after his alleged use of a homophobic slur towards an NHL referee in last nights 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Nothing like getting your name dragged in the court of public opinion for the better part of a day before having it cleared by those investigating the issue, right?

Colin Campbell has concluded the NHL’s investigation and Morgan Rielly is a free man. This after the NHL has spoken to both Rielly and referee Brad Meier, is solidly conclusive that Rielly should be exonerated of his accused actions.

He was accused of calling Meier a homophobic slur after a proposed missed call leads to a turnover and eventual goal on a Maple Leafs power play. The game was atrocious for the Leafs and this, at the outset, seemed like the cherry on top of a horrible night in Toronto.

After listening and reading others’ opinions and watching the tape back myself, I honestly thought Rielly said what he was accused of. It shouldn’t ever be an acceptable thing to say in any scenario, but does the witch hunt for Rielly shed light on a bigger issue?

The world is turning into a politically correct place where others can get offended on your behalf even if you didn’t think an event or situation was offensive. The push back from the Rielly issue should be from the NHLPA to get the rink cleared out of on-ice microphones.

Rielly was cleared of saying the slur towards the referee, but the majority of the public have already had their minds made up on the issue and the morality of Rielly himself.

The fans always want more access and the NHL is happy to oblige their paying customers demands as long as a dollar value can be associated with it. Should this be the tipping off point of reduced and limited access to NHL audio? I hope so.

Audio has come out of Rielly calling a linesman a “fucking hero” for calling off an icing against Anaheim earlier this season. That’s more comical than anything, but if the intensity of a situation (or humiliation in the case of last nights game) causes a player to use a word deemed unacceptable by the PC world, should he the athlete be reprimanded?

If Rielly had been deemed guilty of this accusation would he then be homophobic? Would he get suspended or fined? Is available audio exposing a larger issue in general about offensive terminology? Does removing microphones really solve anything?

Well, if a tree falls and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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