Sean Avery made news last week when he appeared in an ad for New Yorkers for Marriage Equality where he endorsed the legalization of same –sex marriage in New York State. The response has been positive overall from the hockey community, but Avery tells Larry Brooks of the New York Post that the praise he is getting was not the point of his speaking out on the issue.
"The focus shouldn't be on me, it should be on the issue of equal rights, but I kind of think it's funny that people feel the need to say that," Avery said. "But in the end it really doesn't matter."I'm certainly not looking for praise from the hockey world."
There are those who will knock Avery for what he has done or claim him as seeking personal attention, but that is clearly not the case here. What matters for Avery here is the issue of equality and how many still find it justifiable to discriminate against certain groups in our society with this particular one being gay individuals and their right to marry.
What is also interesting in from what Avery told Brooks was how he was sure to wait until the Rangers season was over so that this would not be a distraction for the team.
I had talked with Marriage Equality about doing this maybe a month or so earlier, but I got a little gun-shy with crunch time coming," Avery said. "I didn't want any backlash coming at me when it might have been a distraction for the team, but once the season ended, we got right on it.
For those who knock Avery as selfish on the ice for the bad penalties he can take this shows that he is aware of and cares about what happens to his teammates. If Avery had done this during the Rangers season or playoff series it would have been a distraction for all the players being asked about this issue, so despite his strong feelings on the topic he held off until the season was over.
Whether he is looking for the attention on the moves he is making right now or not, the praise he is getting is well deserved. Kudos to Sean Avery.