29-year-old Adam Johnson, who was playing for the Nottingham Panthers in England and formerly played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL, died on Saturday after he sustained a fatal injury following a collision during the game.
The situation has been described as a “freak accident,” though the video of the incident has some calling for Sheffield Steelers player Matt Petgrave to be charged for it.
Many online are seeing the video of Petgrave raising up his legs and appearing to “kick” his skate into Johnson and calling for Petgrave to swiftly be charged with manslaughter. There has been so much buzz about it on social media that the word “manslaughter” has been trending.
Graphic video of the incident has been circulating online, showing Petgrave raise his skates and appear to push in and then push off of Johnson while they competed against one another. Once Petgrave falls down to the ice, Johnson begins grabbing at his neck, while other players on the ice quickly try to rush him off.
Because of the seriousness and graphic nature of the video, we won’t include the entire clip, though the post below does show the initial collision that led to Adam Johnson passing away:
I’ve played more than enough hockey in my day to know that this wasn’t an accident. If you watch closely you can see Matt Petgrave doesn’t just have his skate up, he uses it to forcefully push off Adam Johnson’s neck. This looks like manslaughter. pic.twitter.com/siOR05pOkY
Johnson was quickly escorted off the ice and was rushed to a local hospital, but was later pronounced dead at the age of 29.
Johnson’s team shared in a statement the following day:
“The Nottingham Panthers are truly devastated to announce that Adam Johnson has tragically passed away following a freak accident at the game in Sheffield last night.
Adam, our number 47, was not only an outstanding ice hockey player, but also a great teammate and an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him. The Club will dearly miss him and will never ever forget him.”
Many online have seen the video and have considered it as “evidence” against Petgrave, saying that the act showed enough intent that he could be charged with murder, but at the very least should be charged with manslaughter if the incident was, in fact, unintentional:
Unbelievable. Never seen anything in sport this diabolical. Matt Petgrave needs to be arrested and prosecuted for manslaughter at a minimum. https://t.co/FezWXojv96
It’s impossible to know intent in a game as fast and high-contact as hockey, but it certainty looks like an unorthodox motion from Petgrave. Nevertheless, I don’t think Petgrave was trying to kill someone and now has to live with the fact that he did.