Most pro athletes know they should keep their beaks out of social or political issues.
That’s why you never heard Tiger Woods taking a stand on women at Augusta National, you never heard Michael Jordan talking about the O.J. Simpson case and you never heard Wayne Gretzky weighing in on Quebec separatism.
They’re athletes. Their expertise is in shooting baskets or making putts, in playing games. You wouldn’t ask Sidney Crosby to draw up the blueprints for your home, and you wouldn’t ask Kyle Lowry to drive the bus taking your kids to school.
So why throw Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier into the fire?
Bernier, invited by the Toronto Raptors to an event to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy prior to the team’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, promptly wedged his foot deeply into his mouth when asked by a reporter about Mandela’s legacy:
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“Well obviously he’s been a tremendous athlete, you know obviously what he means to all the sports, you know the world can be