NHL faces backlash after tasking TikTok star Josh Richards to grow the game

·2 min read
The NHL named social media entrepreneur and content creator Josh Richards as a special adviser to the NHL as a
The NHL named social media entrepreneur and content creator Josh Richards as a special adviser to the NHL as a "voice of the fans," to help grow the game amongst young fans. (NHL)

The NHL named social media entrepreneur and content creator Josh Richards as a special adviser to the NHL as a "voice of the fans," to help grow the game amongst young fans.

Richards, 19, has more than 40-million followers across several social media platforms and as part of his role, he will make appearances at key NHL events while also helping the league with its creative efforts.

The internet personality grew up in Toronto as a fan of the Maple Leafs. Richards, however, has drawn the ire of several fans for his affiliation with Barstool Sports, as his "BFFs" podcast is hosted on the platform alongside controversial founder Dave Portnoy. 

“I want to thank the National Hockey League for giving me an opportunity to share my love of hockey with a whole new generation of fans,” Richards said. “I have always wanted to use my platform to educate and inspire, and I look forward to sharing my passion for hockey with millions.”

Listening to the fans seems like an important part of being the “voice of the fans,” and it appears the news of his association with the league received some mixed reviews.

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Time will tell how Richards uses his platform to help grow the game, but it seems like he’ll need to win over a sizable portion of the NHL’s existing fans.

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