Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd has taken flak from a TSN radio host for missing a game while he was with his wife and newborn daughter.
Ladd's wife gave birth to their second child (a girl) on Sunday night, and the winger missed Monday's game against the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gary Lawless tweeted:
The captain's absence came as the Jets make a final push for a wild card playoff spot. After losing 2-1 to Dallas on Monday, they sit seven points out of position.
The decision to miss the game did not sit well with Troy Westwood, an ex-CFL kicker and now co-host of The Big Show on TSN Radio 1290:
Baby born last night, healthy, no complications I assume. You as captain don't make game tonight in Dal with playoffs hanging by a thread?— Troy Westwood (@TroyWestwood) March 24, 2014
Not one to back down from criticism, this is how Westwood responded when another user took him to task.
@NotArby_18 The baby is in this world and healthy. This is pro freakin sports, your team needs you, get to the game.— Troy Westwood (@TroyWestwood) March 24, 2014
Twitter users soon slammed Westwood en masse:
RT IF YOU LOVE FAMILY TIME & NEW BORN BABIES. @TroyWestwoodMarch 25, 2014
But a few people agreed with him:
@TroyWestwood my frst rxn to your opinion was that you were crazy. Now that ive thought on it, I dont like what this says about a captain— Chris Oldfield (@oldfield_chris) March 25, 2014
@TroyWestwood the question is, would he have played if this was a playoff game? The answer is probably yes.— Matt Stubler (@Stube4) March 25, 2014
Monday's game against Dallas marked the first time Ladd has missed a game for the Jets since they relocated from Atlanta, Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday.
He also wrote that this isn't the first time sports commentators have questioned athletes' commitment to the game when their children were born.
In 2012, Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk said the following, according to Deadspin:
"More than a few NFL players have made known this year their intention to miss a game in lieu of missing the birth of a child. If push comes to shove, however, should they choose to be present for the pushing and not the shoving?"
Katie Strang at ESPN rallied to Ladd's side, slamming the "venomous attacks" on the player:
"To those harping on the fact that Ladd's wife actually gave birth on Sunday, not Monday, I have a crazy scenario for you to entertain: Maybe Ladd wanted to be home for more than just the birth of his daughter. Maybe he also wanted to be home to support his wife. I'm having a hard time finding fault with that."
Strang also noted that this was a "disheartening" week for the hockey Twitterverse, especially after Toronto Maple Leafs fans took shots at April Reimer, wife of goaltender James Reimer, over a string of poor performances.
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