Last week, Steve Simmons broke the news that Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews had tested positive for COVID-19, and it shook the world of hockey, even putting in jeopardy the league’s plan to return to action for a playoff tournament later this summer.
This is a huge story but for some reason, you can’t find it anywhere on TSN or Sportsnet. Simmons, who got tons of negative feedback on his story from fans and other media members, believes there is something fishy there.
While Simmons was on the air of TSN radio station in Toronto on Friday to discuss his story, the clip of his interview that was once available on the website has since disappeared. Furthermore, if you look up for the story on Google, the article that used to talk about Simmons breaking news that Leafs star Auston Matthews tests positive for COVID-19 is gone. When you click on the link, it directs you to a page which says: “Oops! There is nothing here to see.”
“I’m upset with my industry,” Simmons said. “I expect more from them.”
A lot of chatter is hinting that the Maple Leafs and/or NHL might have something to do with this. After all, TSN and Sportsnet are NHL rights holders and also have an ownership stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment…
Simmons has the right to be upset… He is usually not taken all that seriously in the business, but might have had a real scoop there, but other media outlets are forced to be tight-lipped on the whole thing.
We can argue that other players’ names were revealed when they tested positive with coronavirus, and that Matthews’ health is a personal and private matter. However if the story had said that a Leafs player living in the States has tested positive with coronavirus, it is easy to believe we would have eventually gotten to Matthews…
While we do agree that health is a private matter and that players do have the right to remain out of the spotlight when dealign with serious matters, we have to agree that COVID-19 is not a personal issue anymore. After all, it is a pandemic.
We wonder if other players will be outed with the virus after this saga.