The news hit the media with a crash. The Toronto Maple Leafs star center Auston Matthews is facing a disorderly conduct charge in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Here’s What We Know
First, the incident occurred on May 26.
Second, the Maple Leafs released a statement that says:
“The Toronto Maple Leafs are aware of the complaint of disturbing the peace against forward Auston Matthews. Auston is cooperating fully with the relevant authorities but neither he nor the Club will comment any further out of respect for the process involved.”
Third, Matthews has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Wednesday morning; however, he isn’t required to appear in court.
Fourth, there is a police report that details the incident. That report notes that the incident took place outside Matthews’ residence.
Fifth, the report notes that a security guard at Matthews’ building (Fayola Dozithee) was sitting inside her car outside the building at 2 a.m. She became alarmed when she heard someone trying to open her door. She reported that it was Matthews, who was with a group of friends.
Sixth, Dozithee got out of her car and spoke to (confronted) Matthews. She reported that Matthews told her he thought it would be funny to see how she responded to his opening her car door. She also reported that she told Matthews and his group of friends that she was a military veteran with PTSD. Then, she asked the group how they could find it funny to get into a woman’s car unprompted at that time of day.
Seventh, Dozithee reported that Matthews appeared to be intoxicated and repeated that he thought he’d find her reaction funny. Dozithee reported that, as Matthews walked away, he dropped his pants and grabbed his buttocks. She noted that Matthews did not remove his underwear and then left.
Eighth, and finally, the police report states that video footage exists that shows a man heading toward the condominium elevators with his pants near his ankles.
How Might This Incident Impact Matthews Bid for the Captaincy?
First, it must be clearly stated that no charges have been laid against Matthews. Second, it would seem a rush to judgment to condemn anyone based upon the report that has been released but not investigated in court. Third, for many good reasons, it’s wise and right to be patient about ascribing guilt or innocence to the Maple Leafs young star.
However, public opinion is NOT the legal system. On the surface, even the innuendo that there was impropriety on Matthews’ part won’t do his case to become the captain of the Maple Leafs any good. Obviously, in a public organization that serves all ages and genders, such as the Maple Leafs are trying to be and do, such news isn’t good. This is a far cry from Matthews appearing on Tim & Sid to talk about his new mustache.
Matthews is a young man and one with the wherewithal – funds and opportunity – to behave in all kinds of ways. Given his celebrity status, he’s likely to have been given more liberty in his behavior than most people. Certain, other young wealthy men have acted in more boorish manners.
Unfortunately, Matthews’ position as a representative of the Maple Leafs certainly cannot be well-served by such behavior – or the belief that such behavior even “might” be accurate. It simply won’t play well in Toronto.
In fact, if the police report is accurate, it’s hard to see the organization hitching it’s wagon the Matthews as a potential captain with all the duties – on and off the ice – that such a leadership position entails.
Although it’s too early to tell about the accuracy of the police report, it might simply be that this news has put Matthews out of contention to become captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. People – especially women – all over Toronto would find the naming of Matthews as captain to be a slap in the face.
Looking backward about two weeks, one wonders if the delay in naming a captain for the Maple Leafs had less to do with considerations about Mitch Marner’s state of mind than with the team knowing in advance that they might have to do damage control and waiting to see if the story actually broke in the media.
My call is that Auston Matthews’ days of being considered as the new Maple Leafs captain, unless this report is quickly proven to be false, are over.
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