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48 Hour Fallout From the Zach Hyman Wealth Video Explained

48 hours after the online discourse over a video posted about Zach Hyman’s 50-goal achievement, let’s look at why things really exploded.

A couple of days have passed and people are seemingly calming down from the explosion of opinions hurled at journalist Andrew Berkshire over his incredibly misdirected video about Zach Hyman‘s wealth. Everyone has had an opportunity to reassess what happened there and form an opinion. The video has been viewed close to 7 million times and while some have come to Berkshire’s defense — mostly because he posted a second video trying to explain the first one — others are still furious over the gall of Berkshire to take aim at an unsuspecting and kind player like Hyman.

The Video Took a Beating Online

Berkshire took a verbal beating on social media after suggesting that Hyman’s “hard worker” narrative is a fable being spun by the media. In the second video posted in the middle of the night on Wednesday, Berkshire didn’t apologize for his blundered rant, but he posted an “explanation” of the tiers of household wealth in Canada, along with a kindergarten-quality chart of financial statistics. Correctly, he argued that it’s too expensive for most average-income families to get their kids into hockey. Incorrectly, he insinuated the game is so expensive that the privileged (like Hyman) are pretty much the only players who get to reach greater heights.

Zach Hyman Edmonton Oilers 2
Zach Hyman Edmonton Oilers 2

Berkshire’s second video still contended that Hyman’s 50 goals were a byproduct of opportunities and the right linemates. But, he tried to claim his first video was wrong by including Hyman in the topic of media responsibility and the industry’s willingness to shy away from the bigger story — that hockey is expensive. He then said Sam Reinhart (who scored 50) was wealthy too, but not “as wealthy”. He added that Connor McDavid‘s family is wealthy too, but he’s got such God-given talent that he’s in a different category.

It was interesting how much Berkshire cherry-picked who he hinted was fairly “earning their production” and who was not.

Berkshire Has Conflicted His Two Contentious Issues Into One Jumbled Mess

Berkshire is not wrong that hockey is expensive. But, to post a second video and then another social media statement that everyone took him out of context distracts from everything he claims he’s trying to say. He never once apologized for trying to demean Hyman’s achievements or give him the proper credit for the hard work that got him to where he is today. While he subtly throws in that Hyman does work hard, his refusal to separate the two storylines is the biggest problem with his argument.

Just like a player having opportunities and working hard aren’t mutually exclusive, neither is that hockey is expensive and that some players aren’t directly linked to that debate. Even in his follow-up posts trying to calm the waters, he continued to direct backhanded compliments toward the Oilers’ forward.

He wrote in a post on Thursday:

Big thanks to those who listened, & didn’t get bogged down in the player used as an example in talking about hockey’s exclusionary structure. As I’ve said, I’ll own it that I opened the door to the discussion getting derailed. I hope it’s become obvious now who isn’t willing to question the power structures in hockey, for players, managers, media, and more. We talk a lot about hockey culture needing to change and grow, but if the reaction to merely questioning way we tell stories results in so much vitriol, it’s an even bigger problem than I thought.

Ironically, he’s calling out the culture of hockey because of the way they tell stories. The way he chose to tell his story got people livid. He then essentially scolded people who crapped all over him. Yet, he claimed the culture of hockey was a mess while he crapped all over Zach Hyman. He bashes fans and media members for standing up for a player who didn’t deserve to have his name dragged through the mud, yet is also the one who couldn’t separate the two issues he has –one that he doesn’t like Hyman as much as he does others, and the other that not enough is being done to make hockey affordable.

The Personal Issue With Hyman Was Obvious

He might say he doesn’t personally have an issue with the player, but it’s hard to listen to Berkshire’s video and not think he’s got a distaste for the person or the player. He spent way too much time on his first video focused on the forward and his upbringing versus talking about the actual issue he now claims motivated the video in the first place — the cost of playing the game and pursuing higher levels. Conveniently, one can go back and suggest, ‘You didn’t understand my point and that’s your problem.’ For this reason, Berkshire should rarely, if ever, be taken seriously.

He argued, “I hope the speed to which the hockey media establishment banded together over perceived dismissiveness over a player accomplishment as opposed to the silence on many serious issues is obvious to more people now.” The only issue is, that the “perceived dismissiveness” wasn’t perceived. It was obvious.

What’s the Solution Here?

In the end, if Berkshire wants to argue that hockey is too costly, he should do so. He’ll have a lot of people agreeing with that sentiment. While he does, he should make his case without pissing all over a player who worked his ass off and didn’t do anything wrong. Hyman, like any of us would have, took the opportunity given to him. The only difference is, that Hyman made the most of it. He busted his butt to get to where he is, saw the most exponential growth later in his career, and accomplished most of his achievements long after his family’s money mattered.

Zach Hyman goals Oilers

There was no need to diminish all the hard work Hyman did or not commend him for becoming the incredibly kind and non-elitist consummate pro he has become.

Until Berkshire directly apologizes to Hyman, this writer won’t be a supporter of Berkshire’s work. Meanwhile, this same writer will be cheering Hyman on with great enthusiasm, hoping he scores another dozen goals and shoves his success down the throats of all his naysayers.

Next: A Corey Perry Deal With Oilers After This Season Seems Doable

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