TORONTO - Sean Avery's support for same-sex marriage has drawn fire from hockey agent Todd Reynolds.
"Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender 'marriage.' Legal or not, it will always be wrong," tweeted Reynolds. He's the vice president of Ontario-based Uptown Sports Management, which counts Chris Neil, Cody McCormick and Mike Fisher among its hockey clients.
Avery, the New York Rangers agitator who is known for making headlines on and off the ice, stated his support for same-sex marriage in a video that is part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, organized by gay-rights organization Human Rights Campaign.
"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," Avery says in the video.
"Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love," he adds. "Join me in supporting marriage equality."
"The places I've played and lived the longest have been in West Hollywood, Calif., when I played for the L.A. Kings, and when I moved to New York, I lived in Chelsea for the first four years," Avery said in a phone interview with the New York Times. "I certainly have been surrounded by the gay community. And living in New York and when you live in L.A., you certainly have a lot of gay friends."
After his initial tweet, Reynolds issued several more.
"To clarify. This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal."
He also tweeted: "But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone."
In a subsequent radio interview, Reynolds said he was just saying what he believes.
"I believe in voicing your opinion and not being part of the silent majority," he told TSN radio. "If Sean Avery or any other player can comment on one side of the discussion then I work in hockey, I'm in hockey 24-7 why can I not comment on it as well?"
Others who have taken part in the marriage equality videos include former president Bill Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actors Julianne Moore and Sam Waterston.