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John Boruk does the impossible and distracts us all

We're not fighting today, hooray!

Kate Frese/SB Nation

Things are bad for Flyers fans. This is not a secret. Not only is the team performing poorly, they’re not doing it in the worst possible way. Fans are on edge and the media is either sanctimonious or frustrated, in the trenches, along with the fans. Many of us use this sport and this team to get away from the constant misery that is life, and that’s not possible right now because the pain is unrelenting.


Wait, wait, wait. Before I really dive into what happened today, let’s take a walk through history here. A sampling of the best/worst Boruk tweets from this year:

Let’s set the scene. Everything is on fire. The GM is the dog sipping coffee; everything is in fact fine, Ronald. The coach is launching Molotov cocktails into the few corners where there are currently no flames. Together, they just waived the most exciting offensive spark the team has had in the past handful of games.

Smash that send button.

If you are left feeling very confused please know that I am, too. I checked three times to make sure this was not a parody account. On this 29th day of November in the year 2017, the Flyers Insider and Anchor for NBC Sports Philadelphia staged a photo to make his son feel bad about wanting to wear the color that some people refer to as fuchsia, although Boruk cannot confirm nor deny the existence of such a color.

We are led to believe that this shirt with the problematic caricature of a Native American just happened to fall in snapshot range of a Victoria’s Secret bag. That at least has two colors of pink Boruk can name: light and dark. Strategically placed next to some family photos WHERE NO SISSYS ARE WEARING PINK LEMME TELL YOU. The color of the shirt, not the logo, is supposed to be the biggest problem in this photograph.

What Boruk is really saying, to his children and to all of the members of the hockey community that follow him, is this: it is not ok for my son to wear this color that is associated with femininity.

It was not enough for him to say this in the privacy of his own home. It wasn’t even enough for him to make a joke about it in the locker room among the beat writer fraternity. He had to let the entire Philadelphia Flyers fanbase and the Greater Philadelphia Area know that he is not comfortable with his son’s choice to wear a color that girls wear. Not only has he put archaic gender stereotypes on his own personal loudspeaker, he is cyber-bullying his own son.

Let’s look at timing, shall we? Last night the Flyers took to the ice in lavender (that’s light purple, John) in recognition of Hockey Fights Cancer.

Me too, Ivan
Kate Frese/SB Nation

They are also in the middle of their annual dad’s trip, which celebrates hockey dads supporting their sons no matter what.

Dad Konecny: Son, I support you in your sports career
Travis: Dad I want to wear fuchsia
Dad Konecny: I will not tweet about this
Kate Frese/SB Nation

This would be an egregious post without the hilariously poor timing, but the combination shows how out of touch this man is with the world around him. He is actively alienating the fans that are women, LGBTQ, and men who don’t feel the need to prove some inane level of masculinity to strangers on the internet.

This is an embarrassment for anyone associated with the network and the team. We are constantly told Everyone Can Play, and constantly shown that is really only a sport for white, straight, cisgendered men. For all intents and purposes, this man is the Face of the Flyers, and he just compared a boy wearing pink to putting on a lacy bra and panties. Which is bad, in case you hadn’t put that much together yet — it is bad to wear a bra and panties. Those things are for girls, and girls don’t play sports. Or, what if, :shock gasp: his son is gay? Is that better or worse than being girly?

And then he doubled down. Now, I am no journalist, but when Crossing Broad is insinuating there is a problem with what you’re saying ... there is certainly a problem with what you’re saying. Related, love your wife more than buying her Victoria’s Secret trash. That is a post for another day.

Oh look! We have a non-apology!

There is nothing sincere in here, there is no recognition of the damage done and the communities affected. He was told he was offensive. He was told he was demeaning. Instead of asking questions and trying to understand what the issue is, he slapped together incredulous words about how he MAY have impacted some people. Maybe. He’s still not sure. Might have. But at least fuchsia is now a color so we’ve made some headway.

I’ve spent too much time thinking about this man today — he is trash and his opinions are trash. He has no business representing NBC and he has no business speaking on science or gender issues. But here he is, doing all of these things, and we are worse for it.