LA Kings apologize for Kevin Ryder’s sexual assault joke on Twitter

The Los Angeles Kings have become a social media sensation for pushing the envelope on Twitter, separating from the pack of staid NHL feeds with their snarky wit.

For Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday night, the Kings had a guest-tweeter on the @LAKings feed in Kevin Ryder, one half of the Kevin and Bean morning show on KROQ in LA. He was snarky. He was sorta witty. But in one instance, he went too far for the Kings:

Yeah, sexual assault jokes aren’t everyone’s particular brand of whimsy.

David Rogers of Puck Drunk Love offered this indictment:

It's one thing to be snarky and a bit edgy. It's another to use what boils down to a rape joke on an NHL team's Twitter account. Though Ryder is responsible for the Tweet itself, those behind LA's account and marketing team are responsible for allowing him to use it in the first place. We're not sure who thought it was a good idea or how the idea was approved, but here we are. If you go and look through Ryder's work, this isn't exactly a surprising outcome.

The apologies and clarifications were fast and furious after the tweet.

The Kings hastily deleted the Ryder Tweet and wrote:

We apologize for the tweets that came from a guest of our organization. They were inappropriate and do not reflect the LA Kings.

— LA Kings (@LAKings) May 22, 2013

Ryder himself offered this on Tuesday night:

Both Deadspin and The Sporting News characterized the tweet as a “rape joke”, which is why you saw the Kings apologize for the tweet within a half hour of its posting.

This is one of those times when context and delivery are essential for humor. Louis CK can talk about the most vile, repugnant aspects of the human condition on stage and it’s accepted because we expect to hear that on stage. Kevin Ryder tweets a sexual assault joke on the official feed of an NHL team during a playoff game and … well, you read the apologies.

You’ll hear worse in the cheap seats at a hockey game, but none of those adorable drunks were writing to 250,000 followers on a game night like Ryder was.

The Kings knew what they were getting into, however:

s/t AJ Strong for the pix

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