"I'm gonna get this Poonerman character if it's the last thing I do."
Brian Burke was pretty direct about what it was that got him fired as the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs back in January. "We didn't win enough games," he told the media at the press conference following his dismissal, and that about summed it up.
But if you were to listen to Internet commenters like "POONERMAN" or "CAMBARKERFAN" -- two individuals whose usernames should tell you all you need to know about their airtight credibility and intelligence -- there was more to this story than simply a failure to get the Leafs to the playoffs.
These guys claimed that Burke was actually fired because he had an affair with a Sportsnet reporter. Salacious.
Burke denies this, however, and he won't tolerate the rumour's continued dissemination. On Friday, the former GM launched a lawsuit against the commenters behind this rumour in B.C. Supreme Court. From Metro News:
“The Defamatory Statements were made with the knowledge that they were false or with a reckless disregard for their truth,” the notice of civil claim reads.
“The Defamatory Statements have been published, republished, downloaded, viewed and commented on by persons in British Columbia and Ontario and throughout Canada and the United States by various means, including through email, internet bulletin board postings, Facebook pages and Twitter messages, and have harmed the Plaintiff’s reputation in, amongst other jurisdictions, British Columbia, Ontario, and other parts of Canada and the United States.”
“In publishing the Defamatory Statements, the Defendants were motivated by actual and express malice, and had the intention of damaging the Plaintiff’s reputation.”
I think it's safe to say that Burke's never heard of the Streisand Effect. Good luck with this one.
Burke is suing for damages, as well as an injunction that would prevent the 18 defendants from posting any more defamatory statements.
So who are the defendants? Why, I'm glad you asked, because they're only listed by username, and those usernames are incredible:
The usernames listed in the claim are: “NOFIXEDADDRESS”, “CAMBARKERFAN”, “LAVY16”, “MBSKIDMORE”, “TULOWD”, “LOOB”, “NAGGAH”, “MOWERMAN”, “AARONP18”, “STEVE”, “KABOOMIN8”,“THEZBRAD”, “SLOBBERFACE”, “POONERMAN”, “ISOLATEDCIRCUIT”, “KANADA KEV”, “NCOGNITO” AND “SIR PSYCHO SEXY”.
I'm skeptical that "Sir Psycho Sexy" is fit to stand trial. If he's really that psychotically sexy, it's going to be tough to find him liable. But you'd best watch yourself, "Steve". You'll be the easiest to track down.
It is my sincere hope that Burke wins this suit and the defendants are ordered to meet him in a barn.