Nashville Predators forward Richard Clune has been open and honest about his battle with alcoholism, detailed in this feature by ESPN in March 2013 and an update on his battle by Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy last month.
As an NHL player who also uses social media, Clune is often a target of online critics who chirp him. One comment in particular went over the line, and Clune decided to do something about it.
Here’s the backstory: last week, a Twitter “war” erupted when Clune and friend, former NHLer Sean Avery, mocked retired boxer Riddick Bowe’s weight. Bowe, if you didn’t know already, is a hockey fan. All three were all in on the joke, but one boxing fan responded to Clune with this nasty chirp: “You’ll be back in rehab in no time, loser.”
Clune did some digging and found the man’s phone number on a business card he posted to his timeline on Twitter. He phoned him up and called him a coward for making that comment, akin to hoping a person who won their battle with cancer is struck by the disease a second time.
The man apologizes to Clune for making the comment and says he will cheer for him this season. After asking if he still plays for the Predators, Clune responds with a bit of levity.
“No. 16 in your program, No. 1 in your heart.”