News & Politics

Capitals Social Media Staff in Penalty Box Over Horrible Tweet

Also, player Tom Wilson was fined $5,000 for the incident referenced by the Tweet.

"File:Tom Wilson 2016-03-01 2.jpg" by Michael Miller is licensed with CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

Though he was fined $5,000 for punching an opponent in the back of his head, Tom Wilson wasn’t the only member of the Washington Capitals organization to earn a seat in the penalty box during Monday night’s 6-to-3 victory over the New York Rangers. 

During a scrum that took place about halfway through the game, Wilson struck Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich while he was face down on the ice, and Wilson also injured a separate opponent in the same incident. Later, after Wilson scored an empty net goal in the game’s final minutes, the Capitals social media team posted an ill-conceived Tweet to the team’s official account. 

The Tweet read, “atCapitals chooses: Violence,” and it also made reference to Wilson living “rent free” in the minds of his NHL opponents or their fans.

Though it was eventually deleted, the Tweet triggered a swift backlash.

For example, Hockey Daily 365 Tweeted, “Let’s be better @Capitals. The fact that someone had this idea, made a graphic, and posted it on an official Twitter account shows how far off we are.”

We reached out to the Capitals press team for comment about the Tweet. We will update if we hear back. 

Wilson is no stranger to such controversies. During his eight years with the Washington Capitals, he has been suspended five times, according to The Washington Post. His most recent came in March, when he was suspended 7 games for what the NHL described as a “a high, hard hit” that put a Boston Bruins defenseman in the hospital. 

Regarding Monday’s incident, Rangers head coach David Quinn told reporters:

“We all saw it. There are lines that can’t be crossed in this game…There’s just zero respect for the game in general. You got one of the star players in this league now that could have gotten seriously, seriously hurt in that incident. You all saw what happened, and it happens time and time again with [Wilson]. Totally unnecessary.”

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Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.