Grimaldi’s twitter rant garners attention

Aaron VickersUncategorized1 Comment

Typically when Florida Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi uses his 140 characters or less, it’s to offer a motivational message to his followers.

But when Grimaldi turned to his Twitter account on Thursday, the message was less than inspirational.

The five-foot-six forward selected in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft opted instead to use the social media device to release a rant.

“Ladies, you can help us guys out big time,” Grimaldi began in a span of five tweets. “Put your boobs away and everything else that is hanging out. Guys have a hard enough time with that temptation without u (sic) helping it along. When did being a beautiful girl become dressing with the least amount of clothes on? When did what u (sic) wear become a competition? Before you dress ask, ‘Does this outfit honor God, does it honor my body, does it help serve/love my brothers?’ If it’s a no to any of those questions, then u (sic) shouldn’t wear that outfit #ThinkBeforeYouDress.”

A far cry from Grimaldi’s regular tweeting behavior, like today’s offering from the California native:

“Lord, come purify our hearts, cleanse us like a flood, and send us out so the world may know You reign, You reign in us #LivingSacrifice.”

It was Grimaldi’s sudden change in tone Thursday that caught the eye of Greg Wyshynski, editor at Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy. Wyshynski was quick to pen a response criticizing the 18-year-old for his views, calling them “kind of sexist, archaic thoughts that cloud the positive impact of faith.”

Wyshynski further explained to Future Considerations.

“I don’t find Rocco promoting his faith on Twitter shocking,” Wyshynski said, one of Grimaldi’s 5,627 followers. “I think he can be a positive force out there, as he’s already a role model given that a player his size has accomplished so much. His rant, I felt, detracted from that. I also felt it was contradictory. I also felt that, as a father, the last thing I want is to have someone objectifying my daughter in the name of religion, or asking that she modify her behavior because of their own weaknesses. It’s not his place.”

Throughout his young hockey career, Grimaldi has used his status to spread the word of the Lord. In fact, the former member of the United States National Team Development Program has used his career as a way to share his faith.

“Hockey is a great way for me to share my faith as I have had many opportunities to share with teammates, coaches, roommates at camps, etcetera,” Grimaldi told Future Considerations last year. “I do get made fun of here and there but its just good and fun. They respect me because of it; they don’t understand how I can (live for God), stay clean, pure and everything. When they need help or prayer they always come to me for it. I think its great because I have the answer: Christ.”

His answer also solves the question of why Grimaldi fell to 33rd overall in June’s draft after being slotted 14th in Future Considerations’ final ranking for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Wyshynski said Grimaldi’s open faith discouraged some teams at the draft table.

“I know it did,” he admitted. “I was told as much from multiple sources. And I was told the Panthers were going to be aware of this dust-up too. You hope that, in the end, a player’s actions mean more than his words. But it’s a business, and the Panthers can’t exactly allow any fans to be chased away.”

But religion and sport do not need to be separated, Wyshynski said.

“Not completely,” he offered. “If a player wants to thank God in an awards speech or after winning the Stanley Cup, I don’t care. I don’t care when players pray over an injured player. I care when the separation of church and state, for example, is violated by things like ‘Faith Day at the Ballpark’.”

Despite Wyshynski’s disagreement with Grimaldi’s Twitter outburst, it hasn’t changed the respect he has for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux forward.

“Not at all,” he said. “I think you can be critical of someone’s views while still respecting another human being.”

And in fewer than 140 characters, Wyshynski offered his final take on Grimaldi.

“The kid can be a very positive force for fans but he needs to avoid these pitfalls.”

Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!

One Comment on “Grimaldi’s twitter rant garners attention”

  1. As I understand it, the quotes as of the sentence ‘Wyshynski further explained.’ are from a further conversation Mr. Vickers must have held with Mr. Wyshynski in connection with his Grimaldi article dating Thursday the 29th (Ladies: Rocco Grimaldi requests you cover up for God)?

    In any case, I feel motivated to comment on the following statement:
    >>>
    I don’t care when players pray over an injured player. I care when the separation of church and state, for example, is violated by things like ‘Faith Day at the Ballpark’.”
    <<<

    Two things immediately pop into my mind when I read that. First off, is the 'Faith Day at the Ballpark' being used here as an example a government-sanctioned action somewhere? If not, that certainly has nothing to do with separation of church and state, much less a violation thereof. Sounds much more like a marketing concept by a privately owned club/franchise that recognizes that it may be able to ensure a good turn-out at a game by holding such a promotion based on the interest of the local population.

    Secondingly, in one of the greatest misunderstandings related to the phrase whatsoever, the separation of church and state isn't actually a clause or stipulation in at least the US constitution. Furthermore, I'd suggest it's greatest intention in the eyes of the US' founding fathers was allude to ensuring that no one church shall be the state.

    I know that many people wish for it to mean that God, or one's religious faith in general (which guides one's conscience, actions and decision making), should play no role in government doings. Historical reality in the US will show differently though.

    As for Grimaldi, I had seen the tweets and also had a "Whoaaa" reaction. I'd have to think that his agent, if not the Panthers organization, will have a nice little chat with him about 'public image' and everything entailed with being a public figure, as is the case with most aspiring young athletes. Of course, the whole twitter binge is born of a relatively new media tool that goes a long way in greatly breaking down the barrier between the world of celebrities and that of the everyday John and Jane Does of the world. The NHL recently already made a decision with respect to gameday twitting (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/nhl-unveils-social-media-policy/article2168155/).

    Could it be the first step of more to come?

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