Ryan O'Reilly was acquitted of an impaired driving charge stemming from an incident that occurred last summer when a pickup truck slammed into the storefront of a Tim Horton's doughnut shop.
It's taken a year to bring this incident into the courts and the trial was expected to last two days. But with only one witness at the store and said witness unsure of who was driving the vehicle, the case against O'Reilly was dropped in the early afternoon of the first day.
Fans are usually quick to judge the off-ice antics of professional players, and to most said player is "guilty until proven innocent." And even when the player is found to be innocent of the charges against them, he's still guilty because of a payoff and/or a corrupt police dept. and/or corrupt judicial system.
After the incident last summer, O'Reilly hit the ice in Buffalo for his first season with the Sabres. He had an outstanding year for the club and was a model player both on and off the ice. For his work he was nominated for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is given annually to the athlete “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
It was a very fitting nomination considering everything he'd done for the Sabres that season, but there was outright consternation and scorn at the nomination as seen from some tweets (via USA Today's Hemal Jhaveri, March 28):
Ian McLaren (the Score)--Looks like Buffalo is choosing to double double down on Ryan O'Reilly. Sad. Frittering away a nomination, glazing over the facts imo
McLaren--Ryan O'Reilly is so dedicated to hockey, not even a donut shop can stand in his way.
Jeff Veilette (the Leafs Nation)--What is it this season with the media fawning over all over players who do things that are detrimental to society?
Veilette--The Masterton is great because its nominees act as a list of role models.
Ryan O'Reilly overcame drunkenly crashing a car into a Timmies.
Those were some of the milder ones.
Upon O'Reilly's acquittal, social media is a back at it.
Comments from a Jared Clinton piece in The Hockey News:
--I guess if Tim Horton dies drunk driving, it's cool to drive drunk into his restaurants?
--And there ya go everyone. The justice system for you.
These are the guys kids take as their models growing up. "Hey if you play in the NHL and you do some stupid s... you'll be alright cause you make millions and you're famous!!
Twitter is the scorn of modern day society as people are allowed to shoot their mouths off without repreucussion.
--O'Reilly bought off the witness through a third party intervenor. O'Reiily had to to blow over on the breathalezer(sic) if he was pulled over. The charges should've stuck with the science proving him to be legally drunk. Ray Bourque got pinched and he admitted to his crime. The OPP in the south western Ontario region have a history of corruption. I know this from first hand knowledge.
--O'Reilly was never pulled over. He was walking when he was approached by the police. I have no use for O'Reilly or any other useless drunk behind the wheel of a vehicle but I'm not going to make things up to try a prove something. Are the South West Ontario OPP the only corrupt police force in NA? There isn't a police force on the planet that isn't corrupt. If I was the owner of the Sabres, I would be dumping players with low morals and character like O'Reilly and Kane.
Comments from an AP piece as published at Sportsnet:
--Corruption all around from judges, police, etc. etc. Was the lack of evidence lacking or was the bribes greater. Evidence: Truck hit the building while being driven. Who was the driver? If it was the NHL hockey paper he must have came up with a lot of lies (money-bribes) to get charges dropped. We know the building did not lie. The damaged truck did not lie. Not enough evidence is a bunch of bullbribes. The prosecutors must be looked at very closely in this incident.
--WOW... lesson here kids... if you drink and drive... leave the scene of the crime and sober up before you see the cops... you'll leave scott FREE... pretty disgusting....
But he's a millionaire... he can afford a good lawyer...
And, a little satire from this Yahoo commenter:
--Drunken hipster. Was probably taking selfies before, during & after the crash
From everything I've gathered since O'Reilly came to Buffalo, he seems like an outstanding individual and that Masterton Trophy nomination given by local chapter of the Pro Hockey Writer's Association was completely warranted. What happened on that early summer morning in Ontario will never be known, but there was never enough concreter evidence provided by the prosecution to convict him and unlike social media, he's innocent until proven guilty.
As for social media, momma alw