A mid-level professional ice hockey team in Illinois has released a player who posted a string of disgusting, anti-LGBTQ+ tweets.
And the player Louie Rowe has retweeted numerous more messages since he was let go by ECHL outfit the Peoria Rivermen, accusing LGBTQ+ people of grooming and raping children, as well as using them as prostitutes.
Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers told the Lincoln Journal Star: “We are shocked, and we have immediately released Louie Rowe.”
Rowe’s retweets targeted LGBTQ+ people, calling them peadophiles, and trans people, who were labelled mentally ill.
In addition to anti-LGBTQ+ tweets, Rowe’s Twitter includes messages demonising other minority groups.
Rowe retweeted messages supporting the likes of anti-trans, right-wing media pundit Jordan Peterson, as well as anti-vax conspiracy theories and statements from infamous social media account LibsOfTikTok, which rabidly attacks LGBTQ+ educators and drag venues.
On 12 January, another mid-level pro hockey team, the Kalamazoo Wings, sent a response to a Twitter user who said they were no longer going to attend games after the team released a rainbow logo on social media as part of a Pride Night event for LGBTQ+fans.
In response to the Wings’ message, Rowe wrote on Twitter: “I knew the Kwings were soft but I didn’t know they were gay, trans and soft.”
He went on to respond with an image that called Pride flags a “mental illness flag.” He also tweeted: “Imagine marketing towards the bottom of the barrel of society LMAO… what’s next? Felony offender night?”
Another person wrote: “What a turd. Enjoy the beer league hockey career – take the L – loser !!”
The Riverman’s co-owner, Bart Rogers, added: “Our organisation does not condone that language, nor do we support that point of view or behaviour. Those things do not represent the beliefs of our team, our partners nor our fans, nor the great sport we play. It does not represent the values of our organisation’.”