A video posted to Adam Ružička's Instagram account. A video posted to Adam Ružička’s Instagram account. (@ARHockeyStats on Twitter/X.)

Over the years, many past and current athletes have gotten in trouble for their social media posts. But the way Arizona Coyotes forward Adam Ružička did that was particularly unusual, with him posting what appears to be a video of himself with cocaine to his Instagram Stories. That was deleted, but not before it was passed around the internet Friday:

And that soon led to the Coyotes placing Ružička on waivers for purposes of terminating his contract, as Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press writes:

The Arizona Coyotes have put forward Adam Ruzicka on unconditional waivers to terminate his contract.

The move comes after Ruzicka posted to social media a video of a himself with a white powder appearing to be cocaine and a credit card on a counter. The team announced Friday that Ruzicka was going on waivers for termination purposes and said it would have no further comment at this time.

Ružička is hardly the first pro athlete to get in trouble over social media activity. In 2016, Laremy Tunsil’s Twitter account posted a video during the NFL Draft of him seemingly taking a bong hit off a gas mask, leading to his stock falling in real time. And in 2018, questions were raised about NFL receiver Odell Beckham Jr. appearing in a video showing lines of a white substance and an apparent blunt (although the existence of drugs there and whether he used them is disputed). And the discussions of Antonio Brown and social media could go on for years, although a lot of that came after he was out of the NFL. There have also been cases of discipline tied into likes (such as NASCAR driver Noah Gragson being suspended for liking a controversial George Floyd meme last year) and comments (everything that’s gone on with Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive end Chandler Jones).

But the Ružička story is perhaps particularly interesting for the seeming drug use here being so obvious. And it’s unusual with it seemingly being posted by himself, and with the team response being so quick. There’s no “We’re investigating” here, just a cut.

Of course, some of that’s because Ružička is not the most prominent player. The 24-year-old Slovak center entered the league in 2020 with the Calgary Flames as an undrafted free agent, and played in 114 NHL games with them across four seasons, recording 14 goals and 26 assists in that span. He joined the Coyotes last month after they claimed him off waivers from Calgary, and appeared in three games with them, recording no points.

So Ružička is an easier guy to quietly get out of the league than, say, Erin Andrews’ husband Jarret Stoll (who was arrested for possession of cocaine and MDMA at a Vegas beach club in 2015, pled that down to misdemeanors, and still signed a free agent deal with the New York Rangers that summer). And who knows, perhaps he’ll resurface with another team at some point.

But still, the turnaround of less than a day from “apparent cocaine video” to “put on unconditional waivers” is remarkable. And it’s a remarkably speedy response to a scandal from a team. And Twitter/X user @epiclol not only called this, but referenced the Coyotes’ ongoing arena struggles in the process:

[The Associated Press]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.