Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild suspends prospect Justin Fontaine 2 Aeros games for slur

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: February 13, 2012 - 11:07 PM


The Wild has suspended Houston Aeros forward Justin Fontaine for the next two games after he used a gay slur during a Twitter exchange about the Grammys with a teammate on Sunday night.
Fontaine soon removed the tweet and apologized, saying, “My apologies to everyone, it was wrong. Twitter rookie and it came out totally wrong. It was a roommate battle, nothing more. #sorry.”
By that time, however, it was retweeted by another Aeros teammate and spread across the Internet.
“Minnesota Sports and Entertainment (MSE) apologizes for the offensive slur that was posted by Justin Fontaine on Twitter last night,” the Wild said in a statement Monday night. “Fontaine has been suspended from playing in the next two games for the Houston Aeros.”
Fontaine, 24, was unavailable for comment but wrote on his Twitter account to a fan Monday that he felt “awful” and “it’s a word I’ll never use again.”
Fontaine signed as a free agent after helping the University of Minnesota-Duluth to a national championship last spring. In his first pro year, Fontaine is the Aeros’ second-leading scorer with 34 points in 49 games.
Prior to the season, the NHL issued a social media policy, which includes a “blackout period” on game days.
Also, “the new policy makes it clear that players and club personnel will be held responsible for their social communications in the same manner in which they are held responsible for other forms of public communications.
“As a result, discipline is possible for any social media statements that have or are designed to have an effect prejudicial to the welfare of the league, the game of hockey or a member club, or are publicly critical of officiating staff.”
More than a dozen Wild prospects are on Twitter, as well as three Wild players – Devin Setoguchi, Matt Kassian and Justin Falk.

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