Okay, so 2011 Florida Panthers draft pick Rocco Grimaldi has been getting attention because he's Christian. He said some things on Twitter that were maybe a little too extreme. Personally I like hearing people express themselves but will roll my eyes any time someone goes on an overly long Twitter rant, simply because the medium was built for 140-character bursts.
Sure, Grimaldi's views on what he sees as the oversexualization of society are a little too "out there" to go ignored on such a public forum. I don't expect everyone to agree with his views completely (and I'm not saying that I do), but I completely respect his will to express them. As a practicing Catholic, I know that sometimes it's hard to live your faith life at the same time as your regular life. (Or, as one of my friends said so misguidedly, I'm "Catholic but still cool," which is basically like telling an overweight girl that she's pretty even though she's fat.) Maybe Grimaldi needs to learn to express himself in a different way, so that the majority of his audience won't feel like he's being too critical of them. After all, he wants to evangelize and inspire, and he can do that just as well by being positive and promoting God's love rather than making others feel like they're doing something wrong.
That's basically what this is about, isn't it? Grimaldi talked about what he thinks others are doing wrong (or so it appears), and a lot of people didn't like it. Which is perfectly okay, but many responses to this basically implied that he's the one who's wrong. The only one who's wrong. That's not going to solve anything.
Recent events involving Wayne Simmonds have taught us that the NHL and its fans haven't completely grasped the concept of tolerance. We've been saying for ages that there's no such thing as being "too small" or "too black" or "too gay" for hockey, and I can't wait until the day that all of those statements are true. How about we add "too religious" to that list? It shouldn't be considered taboo either.
There are strides to be made before we see the NHL we want to see. It'll take time, and a lot of baby steps, but by starting to engage in the right kind of discourse, we'll get there.