The natural aftershocks of the recent spate of the exposure of professional athletes’ rude tweets has seen team officials across all sports beg their stars to go back and scrub their social media accounts of any offensive content. Now one developmental league is taking things a step further, recommending all its athletes erase any content that shows they’re a fan of the uber-popular Fortnite video game.
As reported by The Sports Network correspondent Rick Westhead in Canada, the Ontario Hockey League, one of the top developmental junior leagues in Canada, has recommended its players eliminate all references to Fortnite in their social media accounts. The reason? Apparently some NHL team officials have determined the game is a major distraction and obsession which is detrimental to an athlete’s focus and development.
Westhead’s report does not make clear whether the recommendation comes from an individual team or the league as a whole. Whoever is providing the advice, they certainly are on to something on the obsession front.
Westhead’s report follows months after an alarming note from Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek, who reported on one junior prospect whose career was in jeopardy due to a nearly debilitating video game addiction.
Still, the adjustment’s made at the developmental level mark a clear shift in approach to Fortnite from the major professional leagues in the U.S., where most teams have embraced and even promoted the game in marketing tie-ins.
Which way will the Fortnite tie-ins go in the future? Is there room for teams to both embrace the game and discourage all athletes from playing it?
Stay tuned … provided you aren’t locked up in a heated battle royale at the time.