Everyone in this city knows that the Roxy has become a destination for professional athletes. We’ve all heard the stories of Canucks’ divisional rivals coming through town and stopping off at the Granville haunt on an off day. It happened enough to coin the term “the Roxy flu”.
It can be humorous to hear about or see pictures of players getting messy at the establishment, as long as it’s done in the “harmless fun” sort of way. It shouldn’t come as a shock that professional athletes like having fun when travelling to some of the biggest and most entertaining cities in North America.
The problem comes when athletes are shamed for doing such things, as there’s a very fine line between “this guy broke curfew before game night by staying up until 3 a.m., which is irresponsible” to “he was having some fun on a day off”.
So when Jake Virtanen was called out yesterday for partying at the Roxy in the offseason, the allegation itself was a little misguided. Who cares? He’s a 22-year-old dude who wants to have some fun in his hometown.
Of course, it got much worse when it appeared that Virtanen was actually in Abbotsford.
The original tweet has since been deleted, but you can see Virtanen’s response below.
And here’s the poster’s apology.
Lost among the amends, however, is the fact that Virtanen (or any professional athlete) should not be shamed for having a good time on an off day. Yes, he and his ilk are paid millions of dollars to be fit and in shape, but leave that criticism for when it actually might affect the job they’re doing.
Athletes these days put a tremendous amount of work into their bodies and if they feel like having some fun, that’s their prerogative.
It’s a good thing that Virtanen is from Vancouver or else he'd probably regret being under the microscope every minute of every day (maybe he does anyway).Constantly questioning whether or not a sixth overall draft pick was the right choice is nothing new, that’ll happen in every hockey-mad market. But Virtanen has seemingly had to put up with more than the average player since he was drafted by the Canucks.
Let’s hope this is the end of shaming athletes for having fun, whether they’re actually doing it or not.
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