In case you’re behind on the whole situation, Ellis - former Nashville & new Lightning goaltender - followed up on a tweet from Reggie Bush who was talking about upcoming labor negotiations.
Bush’s tweet was:
Ellis followed up with:
And apparently this is what caused all hell to break loose. Fans reading his tweets were outraged that any pro athlete could complain about money. I don’t see harm in Ellis’ follow-up comment to Bush, but I can see where some people were disgruntled with it. So let’s look at both sides:
Team Normal People:
The economy still blows. Unemployment is still high. And here is a professional athlete with a multi-million dollar contact complaining. There’s just no way that gets received well. Plus his follow up reaction was this:
Ellis’ comment on being more worried about finances now than he was in college is ridiculous. There’s no way he’s in rougher shape now than he was in college. Sure, there are less worries in college because really all you’re there to do is play hockey, go to class and booze. For a lot of students, other people take care of the finances (parents, scholarships) or you worry about the loans moreso after school than anything else. Even so - very, very few people have a solid income in college. DEFINITELY not an income of a couple million bucks.
I also think his, “If you don’t make a lot of money, I don’t expect you to understand ...” came off a little bit snooty.
He was right when he asked if we would like getting 18% cut out of our salary. I know I sure as hell wouldn’t - and their 18% is a lot more cash than my 18% would be. 18% of $3 mil is like $540,000. Yikes.
There’s also a lot more to player finances than meets the eye. On top of escrow and all that CBA goodness, there’s agent fees, higher taxes (which can include residency depending on the player’s situation) and probably some more I’m not even aware of. Careers are short-lived; players can be out of a job by 35-40 years-old - not quite the retirement age the rest of us are used to. Don’t get me wrong, these guys still have plenty of comfort room, and no one’s losing their home anytime soon. But for those not making the millions, it can add up.
Finally: relax, people. Do you really think this guy was trying to say he is bitter about his paycheck? I don’t think so.
**Bottom line is he took some heat for poorly chosen words. The unfortunate outcome of this is that we will lose some candidness from Ellis going forward. The great thing about athletes on Twitter is that fans get to see their personalities and who they are while getting the chance to interact with them one-on-one. It’s a huge boost to the fan experience. I think people would prefer someone who tweets like his true self (like a Paul Bissonnette and a Dan Ellis) as opposed to the more canned accounts (like Rob Schremp - no offense, but that guy is tweeting what he's told to). But why should Ellis go back to being uncensored if he just takes heat for it? Not saying he didn’t deserve it, but he has no reason to do it anymore.
So @33dellis - I’m on your team. But for God’s sake, let it go. I think we may have gotten a tiny bit over-defensive yesterday. The best move is to close it out and move on from it. Or write up a guest blog post. I’m sure a site like Puck Daddy or From the Rink would host it without a doubt. I’d be really interested in reading that. You’d have to be careful because if you misword things again, then you could end up in hotter water than you already were in. But it gives you a platform of more than 140 and can help some people understand a bit more.
Just my two cents.