Canadian captain Maxime Comtois was the target of hate-filled comments online following the team’s loss to Finland in the World Junior hockey tournament, but now he’s responding with a message to fight back against cyberbullying.
Commenting on the 19-year-old’s Instagram page has been disabled on recent photos.
According to the Canadian Press, some of the comments still remained, including one from Instagram user @snacc_hyman who wrote, “The captain of the Canadian hockey team shouldn’t dive like an Italian soccer player and come up with such a pathetic attempt on an overtime penalty shot.”
Posts on Twitter claiming to show his Instagram feed had screenshot examples of many profanity-laced comments as well.
Much of the criticism stems from the captain’s failed penalty shot attempt in overtime. The loss means Canada will not play for a medal for only the second time in 21 years.
Thursday afternoon the Roy Sports Group released an official statement regarding the social media comments directed at the young player who was proud to wear the maple leaf.
“It is shameful and incomprehensible that a few cowards who can hide behind social media could make such vicious attacks on these young men’s characters after they battled their hearts out for their country,” the agency said in a news release.
It went on to say there will be no further public statements about the issue in order to not validate the “cowardly comments”
“It was Maxime’s idea to use this as a learning moment for all the youth of Canada, that cyberbullying is a real problem, and like all bullies, we need to stand up to them and call them out for what they are.”
This will be the only official statement regarding Max Comtois. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/EgNWrODqMC
— Roy Sports Group (@RSGHockey) January 3, 2019
People also took to social media to show support for Comtois.
– With files from The Canadian Press