An agency representing several NHL players has publicly called out New York Rangers forward Sean Avery for supporting same-sex marriage.
In a series of messages put out on Twitter on Monday, Burlington, Ontario-based Uptown Sports Management criticized Avery after he recorded a video supporting the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign.
"Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender 'marriage,'" wrote Uptown's Todd Reynolds in the tweet. "Legal or not, it will always be wrong."
In the video, Avery looks into the camera and says: "I'm Sean Avery, and I'm a New Yorker for marriage equality. I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated, and that applies to marriage. Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love. Join me in supporting marriage equality."
Reynolds then clarified his statement later on Twitter, explaining that it was not meant to incite hate.
"It is not intolerance in any way shape or form," he said. "I believe we are all equal...but I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I do not hate anyone."
Reynolds joined Cybulski and Company on TSN Radio 1050 on Monday and expanded on the statements that he made through social media.
"There's certainly a voice for the other side on this particular issue," said Reynolds. "I was merely responding to be the other voice. I believe in standing up for what you believe in. I'm passionate about what I believe in. And I believe in morality and I believe in right and wrong. I know many people with different view points for what is right and wrong."
He also expressed surprise that his opinion was attacked so viciously by the public.
"I'm a little disappointment in some of the response," said Reynolds. "If you oppose a viewpoint, you're immediately targeted by some people as a hater, a bigot, intolerant, homophobic and many other terms. That's obviously not the case for people who know me. I don't hate anyone and I'm certainly not a bigot."
When asked if expressing his opinion would put the clients he represents in the bad position of having to answer questions about his statements, Reynolds once again defended his right to have an opinion on the matter and said that he feels the players he represents will not be affected.
"It's my opinion and it's something that's an easy response, Todd Reynolds commented on that and it's his position," said Reynolds. "I've already been asked what happens if my clients disagree with this opinion and that's fine, we're going to disagree on all kinds of issues in life but we have to be able to talk about them. If Mike Fisher or any other client of ours agrees or disagrees on this position is of no consequence and they shouldn't feel compelled to comment. I feel that if Sean Avery or any other player can comment on one side of the discussion, then I work in hockey and I'm in hockey 24/7, why can't I comment on it as well."