Social media can be a very toxic place.
Winnipeg Jets’ forward Mark Scheifele gave an emotional interview Friday in the aftermath of his controversial hit on Montreal Canadiens’ forward Jake Evans. Scheifele received a four-game suspension for charging Evans in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round on Wednesday.
Mark Scheifele tossed for flattening Jake Evans after he scores on the empty net. pic.twitter.com/kE6nU3vDCD
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) June 3, 2021
Scheifele’s hit has been the talking point of the hockey world over the last several days. Many people have flooded to his social media pages to tell him he is a “dirty” and “disgusting” player. Others have stated he should be suspended the rest of the season.
Scheifele teared up Friday as he explained the toll the online hate has taken on his family. Scheifele says his family has gotten “completely unacceptable” bullying as a result of his hit on Evans.
“I can handle the punishment”, said Scheifele. “I can accept the accountability. That’s what you sign up for being in the NHL. But that hate my family has gotten. The bullying that they’ve gotten. The online phone calls…it’s pretty gross to see. My parents are the salt of the Earth. For my parents to get hate like that, it’s awful”, explained Scheifele.
Scheifele further detailed that he doesn’t care if people come at him online. He just wants his family left out of it.
“I could care less about people saying things about me”, said Scheifele. “I’m a big boy, I can handle it. I signed up for this. But to put my parents, brother, my sister, my loved ones through that is completely unacceptable. In a society where you can hide behind your keyboard, that is the problem. I can handle the criticism. But there’s no right to go after my parents and loved ones. But that’s our society nowadays.”
Scheifele’s full 16-minute media availability is available below.
Scheifele had never been fined or suspended in his NHL career prior to his four-game suspension. He called his suspension “pretty excessive”. “I wasn’t expecting that…I was pretty shocked.” He also stated he won’t be appealing the suspension.
“I don’t want to be a distraction to this team”, said Scheifele. “I’m going to accept the punishment. It [appealing] really wouldn’t have done anything anyway.”
Scheifele has recorded two goals and five points through five playoff games for the Jets. The 28-year-old only played one game in last year’s playoffs due to an achilles injury he sustained in Game 1 against Calgary.
Winnipeg will begin their quest to defeat Montreal without Scheifele on Friday evening. Game 2 puck drop is set for 7:30 PM EST from Bell MTS Place.