Canadian publication The Hockey News tweeted out their upcoming cover, which they noted was their 2021 Diversity Issue.
That checked out in some ways; the cover promised interviews on diversity issues in hockey with Anson Carter and league exec Kim Davis. Of course, the focus on diversity in the game was undercut a bit by the cover athlete selection:
That’s Zdeno Chara, and not, for example, Anson Carter.
In itself, it’s not a fantastic look for a self-proclaimed Diversity Issue. There was still a way to explain it at least partially, though, by pointing to the dedicated content involved, and admitting that they should have done better with a cover choice. That would have still been a rough road, but having multiple features on a topic can still satisfy requirements for a themed issue, albeit not as forcefully as a full cover would have.
Instead, The Hockey News elected to backpedal completely, deleting the tweet and sending out a note that essentially disavowed any sort of diversity theme at all for the issue.
NOTE TO READERS: pic.twitter.com/tSlxSmrhI0
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 16, 2021
Predictably this didn’t sit well:
The Hockey News could admit they messed up and commit to figuring out how to do better moving forward. Instead, they're gonna try to gaslight fans. Great move. https://t.co/cTfV79b7Ov pic.twitter.com/rmKTONEYVA
— Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) February 16, 2021
— Chris (@chriswillhall) February 16, 2021
*massages temples * pic.twitter.com/fmAjwxmc1j
— Undead Meathead (@Undead_Meathead) February 16, 2021
They changed it now, but the official url also had the keyword "diversity" in it. Its now changed to "febmarch"
— Drew Letko (@DrewLetko) February 16, 2021
Having made their decision on how to handle this, it’s unlikely The Hockey News would now release a second update admitting they did in fact originally intend to have a themed issue, but if they do we’ll gladly update this post accordingly, because that would be impossibly entertaining from a clusterfuck perspective.