It’s far from uncommon for a “pest” to get under an opponent’s skin by saying vile, personal things.
It’s quite uncommon to find out many details about those vile, personal comments.
Many in the hockey world were shaken by former player Patrick O’Sullivan’s account of his experiences with child abuse in The Players’ Tribune. Things got downright controversial when O’Sullivan revealed the one player who actually chirped him about those genuinely harrowing experiences: Alex Burrows.
Mere hours later, Burrows was confronted with his comments, which he claims happened about 8-10 years ago.
His response, paraphrased by Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, may be summarized as “I regret the things I said back then, but my trash talk is more appropriate now.”
Murphy notes that Burrows said he’d do or say anything to get an edge/stay in the NHL at that time, but Burrows insisted that what he said to Jordin Tootoo this season wasn’t over the line.
Burrows reiterated his thoughts regarding this season’s Tootoo incident, so you can reference this video for more on that:
Plenty of people criticized Burrows:
Though some at least shared a partial defense for the pesky forward’s ways:
Let’s face it, you can probably narrow Burrows’ array of responses to this situation to four broader choices:
1. The “No Comment” Route
2. Shrugging his shoulders and throwing out some sort of “Nature of the beast” type explanation.
3. Burrows’ choice: a strange mix of an apology and a non-apology for his current tactics.
4. Pulling a Raffi Torres and essentially saying he’s a bad person, at least on the ice.
Really, are any of those options all that satisfying? Unless he decides to change his ways and seek a Lady Byng, chances are we were going to be stuck with this awkward apology or no apology at all.
In all honesty, it might be best to move on … you know, unless a bunch of other players come forward with Burrows trash talk horror stories.