Saw the fatal accident on site – now defending Petgrave after massive storm of hate
Matt Petgrave’s skate ended Adam Johnson’s life in this weekend’s meeting between Nottingham and Sheffield.
After that, Petgrave has received several hate messages on social media, whereupon Johnson’s teammates have now chosen to come to his defense.
“It’s terrible and completely unnecessary,” writes Westin Michaud on X
The hockey world is still mourning Adam Johnson, who was injured in a game between Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers on Saturday.
The former Malmö player was hit by a skate rail at the neck and was immediately taken to hospital where his life could not be saved. On Sunday, both Johnson’s family and Nottingham communicated that he had died as a result of the accident on Saturday evening.
“Nottingham Panthers are absolutely devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following the freak accident during the game in Sheffield,” the club wrote.
Player support for Petgrave
The message was followed by an outpouring of love for Johnson and his family, but Matt Petgrave, who accidentally hit Johnson with his skate rail, has also endured abusive messages and hate on his social media.
Witnesses at the scene, a total of over 8,000 spectators watched Nottingham-Sheffield on Saturday, have described Petgrave as being in shock and completely distraught after the accident. Several of his opponents, as well as Johnson’s teammates, now also express their sympathy for him.
“I have to raise what happened after the accident. We stand behind Matt Petgrave wholeheartedly. The hate that Matt has received is terrible and completely unnecessary. I was on the ice, by the bench, closest to the accident, and I saw how quickly the players were moving. The accidental collision between a Panthers player and Sheffield player just before caused (Petgraves) to somersault, and it is clear to me that he did not act deliberately. Anyone who claims otherwise is wrong. Let’s now agree together not to spread unjustified hatred to someone who is in need of support”, writes Westin Michaud on the platform X.
During Michaud’s message, Swede Victor Björkung, who plays for Nottingham this season, replied:
“Word! Enough is enough, we stand behind Petgrave” .
After the match on Saturday, several media outlets, including the DailyMail , reported that 31-year-old Matt Petgrave was “completely devastated” after being contacted by Adam Johnson’s death notice.
South Yorkshire Police told the same newspaper that they are still investigating the incident. At the same time, the English Ice Hockey Association did not want to comment on whether Matt Petgrave has a support network to fall back on in this situation.
“The hockey family is currently mourning a beloved player,” the association comments to DailyMail.