Carey Price Doubled Down On His Pro-Gun Stance After The Montreal Canadiens Apologized For Him
"I stand by the opinions I've shared."
While Price apologized to "those impacted most by the events here in 1989," he said he did "know about the tragedy" before his original post, partly refuting an official apology issued on his behalf by the NHL team the day before.
The original and follow-up posts have prompted a massive debate in public forums and on social media, with heated discussions about proposed government gun legislation (as well as the timing of Price's remarks and the legislation itself), but also about Indigenous rights, colonialism and government's reach.
On December 4, Price shared an Instagram photo holding a shotgun and decked out in camo. The caption read: "I love my family, I love my country and I care for my neighbour. I am not a criminal or a threat to society. What Justin Trudeau is trying to do is unjust. I support the CCFR to keep my hunting tools. Thank you for listening to my opinion."
Price was voicing his position on proposed federal bill C-21, which would ban handguns — along with some weapons used by hunters, according to the CBC.
Some fans and anti-gun groups have since questioned the assertion that hunting gear would be impacted by the bill and called out the timing of the goalie's post so close to the 33rd anniversary of the École Polytechnique shooting, which they say has overshadowed the commemoration of the 14 young women killed by a gunman.
Price has also been critiqued for supporting the pro-gun Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR), especially after the lobby group offered the discount code 'POLY' for store merch. The group later claimed that it had nothing to do with the shooting.
Price acknowledged the uncomfortable timing of his post on Tuesday and said Montrealers know he would never "intentionally cause pain to those impacted by gun violence."
A story on Carey Price's Instagram account.@cp0031 | Instagram
"Despite a previous statement released, I did in fact know about the tragedy… I acknowledge that amplifying the conversation around guns this week may have upset some of those impacted most by the events here in 1989 and to them I apologize," he wrote.
The goalie's follow-up statement counters part of an official apology by the Montreal Canadiens, released on December 5, which stated that Price "was not aware of the tragic events of Dec. 6, 1989."
Price's stance has sparked significant debate about the federal government's implementation of the C-21 bill, which is set to go into effect at midnight on December 6.
Many against the bill argue that its release on the anniversary of a national tragedy has stymied debate on gun rights in Canada, while proponents say it's the most appropriate way to honour the Polytechnique victims and prevent a similar mass shooting.