Sean Avery, who plays for the New York
Rangers, has accused Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds of
hurling a gay slur against him.
Avery told ESPN.com that Simmonds
uttered a homophobic slur at him during a game on Monday.
“To be here now having to answer the
questions about what he did is disappointing for me. I'm
disappointed for him,” Avery said.
Simmonds claims Avery sucker-punched
him and did not deny the allegation.
“We were going back-and-forth for the
rest of the game and emotions ran high,” Simmonds told reporters
after the game. “I don't recall every single thing that I did say
to him. He said some things to me that I didn't like, and I guess I
said some things that he didn't like.”
Avery was the first professional
athlete to publicly endorse a gay marriage law in New York. His
video ad for the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) New Yorkers for
Marriage Equality campaign jump started a dialogue in the sports
world on the subject of gay rights. Avery also traveled to the New
York Statehouse to lobby lawmakers to vote for the bill.