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Rob Rossi: Penguins' Sidney Crosby deserved better from 'hockey people'

| Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, third from left, listens as President Donald Trump, right, speaks about the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, third from left, listens as President Donald Trump, right, speaks about the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Is Sidney Crosby free to play hockey now?

Asking for some friends.

Even as he attended a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday to celebrate the third Pittsburgh Penguins team he captained to a Stanley Cup championship, Crosby could not escape the hockey world collapsing upon him. Mostly from his fellow Canadians , though also from some Pittsburghers, Crosby continued to be criticized for what he had not done.

He had not denounced Donald Trump.

He had not endorsed Donald Trump.

Conveniently forgetting that Crosby is not a U.S. citizen and that he neither denounced nor endorsed the other two U.S. presidents who served during his career, some “hockey people” went for the head of the Face of the NHL. Too many of those “hockey people” turned a blind eye to the obvious when it conflicted with their point of view.

Wonder if those “hockey people” realize they ruined an opportunity for Crosby to apply his trademark patience and precision in formulating a public reaction to all that has been happing in America.

Or with Trump.

Or about American gun laws, America's immigration policies, the American political system, American culture wars, the American racial divide or possibly the American rocker who wrote “American Girl.”

Crosby might well have given any or all of those topics careful consideration.

I've known him for more than a dozen years . Still cannot say what he truly thinks about hockey's small world let alone America's big land.

I can say, with full confidence, that Sidney Patrick Crosby has never been afforded enough freedom by “hockey people,” myself included.

Instead of dragging him into the next fire, we “hockey people” should see if he might see something in the flames we have missed.

He always has been blessed with gods-like vision.

He always has had an answer for our questions, too.

Crosby had an answer a few weeks back when pressed about the Penguins' plans to visit the White House.

What Crosby did not have was the answer some “hockey people” wanted. If he had, it's probable that answer would have been something other people did not want to hear. Whatever he said would have been wrong to somebody.

Crosby was failed by hard-charging “hockey people” who were sports writers playing social activists.

Few, if any, NHL players as children dreamed of being asked about the concept of American democracy before parents awoke them for mite games.

Try something this week.

Find a 30-year-old white man who is dating a white American girl and who works in an overwhelming white industry and who cannot understand the current state of the union no matter how hard he tries. Then ask that guy if he would go to the White House if his employer had accepted an invitation from the president of the United States.

Don't give that guy a day to think, a couple of days to breathe or a week to ask himself some hard questions.

Find that 30-year-old white man and ask him: Will you go?

But don't listen to his answer.

Actually, assume most people will hear only what they want to hear.

Also, keep in mind that guy in this instance is a foreigner who really isn't being asked to speak for himself but rather for everyone with whom he works. Also realize it was presumed how he would respond, thus setting the narrative before he could speak.

For the past couple of weeks, the best hockey player on the planet was buried by some “hockey people.” Not for something he did. Not even for something he said.

So please allow me to again ask: Is Sidney Crosby free to play hockey now?

Rob Rossi is sports editor at upgruv, a trending-news site operated by 535Media. Reach him at Follow him on Twitter @Real_RobRossi.

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