COVID-19: NHL players keep in touch with fans on social media

A video begins with Morgan Rielly in front of a sink, then the Maple Leafs defenseman begins to demonstrate the right way to wash your hands.
The Canucks’ Elias Pettersson center opted for lightness with a video rigged on its golf flair.

Max Domi of the Canadian uses his hockey stick to juggle a ping pong ball.

In an unprecedented era of social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, NHL players and their teams are doing their best to stay in touch with fans on social media.

The Leafs released a video from general manager Kyle Dubas talking about the importance of staying at home; in another, Canucks forward Tyler Motte focused on mental health.

Pettersson, Canucks captain Bo Horvat and defenseman Tyler Myers came together for a video on safety and the relevance of listening to the experts.

The Flames shared a FaceTime from winger Matthew Tkachuk where he wished a young supporter happy birthday after canceling his friend’s party.

On a pedestal

Aziz Rajwani, a lecturer at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, says that prominent figures, including athletes, have a responsibility in difficult times.

“Because of their status in society, they are on a pedestal,” he says. People will listen to them. It is an opportunity for them to make a public service announcement. ”

Many young people, at least at the start of the crisis, did not take public health warnings about the dangers of gathering in large groups seriously.

“Teams should call the provinces and ask how the players can help spread the word, respect safe practices, wash hands, anything else,” said Rajwani.

“Some might say that they don’t want this charge, that they don’t see themselves as role models. I would say yes, you are and therefore act in a way that sets a good example. ”

Some teams simulate games and share the results online; others tweet live about notable old matches replayed by television networks in search of content.

Teams and players must still exercise judgment. The millionaires who share videos of isolation in luxury residences are far from the experience of many families, with layoffs and uncertainty.

Rajwani finds, however, that when things are unstable, doing it right can pay off a lot.

“The brand image [of a player or a team] will be strengthened,” he says. It translates into money at the end of the day, but doing the right thing and being responsible, especially for young players, it really builds a brand image. ”

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