Green drew the attention of Hockey Twitter by saying “F—k Matt Tkachuk.”
I know Twitter as a platform feels as if it’s in its dying days, but sometimes when people gather together in grief, we find lightness and levity in unexpected places.
Like this morning, when Hank Green decided that he has beef with Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk.
Why’d you delete the best part of this thread pic.twitter.com/7pbgnxFRvl— ryan (@OTCeIIy) November 14, 2022
Oh boy. I don’t think he was prepared for the cans of worms that Tweet would open — which probably answers the question of why it was later deleted.
Green, for those who have somehow avoided the seeming omnipresence of both himself and his brother John on the internet over the last decade, is an internet personality (sorry, Hank, I’m trying to do this as briefly and succinctly as possible) who is largely known for being a science communicator and vlogger. He’s a nerd online, and his humor is an incredibly effective teaching method.
But as one could imagine, while plenty of Hank Green’s fans are statistically likely to be sports fans, it’s not like they come to him, the internet’s science guy, for sports takes:
I really like watching sports when it isn't a big deal, but I can't handle the stress of watching championship games. I am just too sad for the team that loses. I honestly love sports, I just don't like being scared for three hours.— Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 3, 2020
Hank you like sports you just don’t know that you like sports.— John Green Parody Account Run by John Green (@sportswithjohn) March 26, 2022
So when he chose to take a swipe at Tkachuk, Twitter was a little surprised to find out that not only does Hank Green have hockey opinions, but that one of those opinions is An Exception to My Brand is Fuck Matthew Tkachuk Specifically.
Tkachuk recently returned from a two-game suspension for using the blade of his stick to poke Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick in the eye. He was issued a two-minute penalty for interference and a 10-minute game misconduct for the high stick. Considering Tkachuk’s reputation for risky and dangerous play, many questioned if the suspension was enough. Among them, apparently, was Green.
I’d like to apologize to Matthew Tkachuk for my harsh words…but unfortunately I can’t. Should’ve been a ten game suspension. https://t.co/l5dsebbHbx— Hank Green (@hankgreen) November 14, 2022
For that, Green spent the day parsing through more sports Tweets than I’m sure he’d ever done on purpose before. He responded a little, defining goaltender interference for us once and for all and refusing to name his favorite team (though buddy, you’re telling on yourself if you willingly sat through a game between the Panthers and Kings on a Saturday night). He also clarified his stance on Tkachuk, calling the poke on Quick “so far over [his] line” and “not hockey,” while also stating that Tkachuk’s reputation is “unfair.”
If Matty sees this, you’re wonderful, I have no problem with you, everything you’ve ever done is totally acceptable and your reputation as hockey’s #1 pest is totally unfair…please don’t hit me.— Hank Green (@hankgreen) November 14, 2022
Personally, I am dying to know why, as a person who was previously somewhat apprehensive about sports, Green chose hockey, whose overtime has been compared to snorting cocaine and riding a motorcycle out of a helicopter, but I’ll get my answer another day. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that, like most people who get into hockey later in life, there was some surprise in the response he got from a brief mention that he has hockey opinions now.
The missing context, of course, is that hockey fans are huge nerds. Like massive nerds. Everyone I know who covers this sport? Nerd. The Seattle Kraken (nerdy ass name) are going to host a sold-out Hockey Analytics Conference next month. That’s sports math! The nerdiest way to consume sports! Every nerdy place online where nerds gather, you’re going to find a hockey fan, waiting for someone to mention hockey, because we can also never shut the fuck up about it.
And now that we know you’re one of us? I hope you’ve got an opinion about the dead puck era, or you’re going to get eaten alive.
Going viral on hockey twitter is surprisingly fun. Everyone is mean but in a nice way.— Hank Green (@hankgreen) November 15, 2022
In the end, perhaps Green is more like Tkachuk than he realizes. After all, did he not decide to poke a bear just for the fun of it?
Yeah, I had to get into drama with hockey twitter to scratch the itch...— Hank Green (@hankgreen) November 14, 2022
That’s classic Tkachuk behavior.