Sean Avery’s protects Matt Petgrave, the other player involved in Adam Johnson’s death

Sean Avery’s protects Matt Petgrave, the other player involved in Adam Johnson’s death

See the former NHL player’s reaction:



The tragedy occurred Saturday in a game between the Nottingham Panthers and Petgrave’s Sheffield Steelers in England’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Panthers forward Adam Johnson had his throat cut by a skate during a game, was immediately rushed to the hospital, but died at just 29 years old from his injury.

After a video emerged of the incident in which we could see Matt Petgrave’s skate come up and fatally cut Johnson’s neck, the defenseman has dealt with terrible attacks and threats on social media.

It probably didn’t help that Fox News host Jesse Watters spoked with former NHL forward Sean Avery, saying that the play looked like “murder” to him. Avery couldn’t phantom using that term.

“That’s a pretty dangerous word to be throwing around,” Avery responded. “I’ve watched it, it’s terrible, it’s tough to watch. Did this kid make a move that was very unorthodox? Do I think he was trying to make contact of some sort? Absolutely.

“Do I think he woke up and said, ‘I’m going to murder somebody today?’ No.”

Avery isn’t the only one looking out for Petgrave. One of Johnson’s teammates in Nottingham came to the defense of the blue liner on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I need to address something about the accident. We wholeheartedly stand with Matt Petgrave. The hate that Matt is receiving is terrible and completely uncalled for. I was at ice level on the bench closest to the accident, I saw both players moving fast.

“The unintentional clip of the Panther player’s leg by the Sheffield player caused the somersault. It’s clear to me his actions were unintentional and anyone suggesting otherwise is mistaken. Let’s come together and not spread unwarranted hate to someone who needs our support.”

While Avery and many out there refuse to use the term murder, there is an ongoing investigation into the death of Johnson which is likely to take time. South Yorkshire Police said it had been studying footage of the incident with a spokesperson saying: “Since Saturday, detectives have been carrying out a range of inquiries including reviewing footage, talking to witnesses and seeking the advice and support of highly specialised experts to seek to understand the circumstances surrounding what happened.”

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