The video shocked social networks. Three young men climb the stairs to access a nightclub. Near the entrance is an unoccupied wheelchair. When entering the bar, one of the three people nonchalantly pushes the chair down the stairs. At least one piece comes off in the fall.
The images captured Saturday evening by a surveillance camera leave no ambiguity: the one pushing the chair is Carson Brière, son of Daniel Brière, ex-NHL player and new interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. The 23-year-old is currently playing with the Mercyhurst University Lakers in Pennsylvania.
On Twitter, the woman who posted the video said the chair was there because its owner had to go downstairs to access the bar bathroom.
By late Tuesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 22 million times on Twitter. A crowdfunding campaign was set up to buy a new wheelchair. Over $5,000 has already been raised.
Calling the excerpt “troubling”, the university quickly announced that it had opened an investigation into the incident.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Daniel Brière apologized on behalf of his son, saying he was “shocked” upon seeing the video. The Quebecer called these actions “inexcusable” and said they went against his family’s values, which call for “treating people with respect”.
“Carson is sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior,” he added.
Carson Brière, more succinctly, said he was “deeply sorry for [his] behavior on Saturday.”
“There is no excuse for my actions and I will do everything I can to make amends for this serious lapse in judgment,” he concluded.