Adrian Dater fired by Denver Post for social media abuse


Adrian Dater has covered the Colorado Avalanche for the Denver Post since the team relocated from Quebec in 1995.

That tenure ended on Wednesday after repeated incidents of offensive behavior on social media.

Dater announced on his Facebook page that “my long association with the Post came to an end today. That's a really bad thing to have to write, but it's reality.”

The latest incident was the exposure of inappropriate messages to Maria Camacho, a Detroit Red Wings fan who lives in Calgary. The screen grabs can be seen here and here and here.

But that was, again, the latest incident. He was suspended two months ago for a Twitter “meltdown” about LA Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb. That meltdown prompted Jesse Spector, a writer for The Sporting News, to publish a vulgar (NSFW) letter from Dater about the incident.

Two incidents in two months, and a history of contentious sparring with fans on social media, and Dater’s time at the Post is over.

From Dater, an explanation for his behavior:

I said a bunch of stupid things on social media once too often. It was unprofessional and I paid the price. Social media and I were always going to be a dangerous mix. I'm opinionated and have the occasional real hot temper.

But my problems were deeper than that.I've had some pretty bad substance abuse problems. Every single time I got myself in trouble with my mouth, substances helped play a role, probably a big one.I tried to deny it was a big problem but it obviously was and is.

A lifestyle of a lot of late nights away from home in lonely hotel rooms and a stressful lifestyle at times kind of caught up with me. I used too many wrong things as coping mechanisms. I also have dealt with manic depression for years and when the real dark moods come over me I tend to do things to hurt myself more. I don't want these to be used as excuses or to win sympathy. But I'm just adding explanations of what I've had problems with. I do believe some things said about me recently in accusatory manners is totally false, with people misrepresenting things. But the bottom line is I caused my own problems and have to own them.

I've been seeking more in-depth help for some of my problems and if I could ask for one thing, it's that you hope for the best that I can.I know I'm a good person down deep, but greatly flawed.It was my pleasure writing on the Avalanche for 20 years for a great paper. Nobody can take those memories away. I love my family and the No. 1 thing I need to do is try and make them proud of me again.I'm so sorry I let people down. I hope to some day write a happier comeback story for you to read.

Dater is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and wrote the book “Blood Feud: Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche.”

Camacho tweeted after the announcement:

My take on Dater. The greatest part of everything is that he admitted to his mistake and he's getting help. I wish him the best. Second part is that women can now feel safe to not take any crap for men. We're allowed to love this sport like anyone else and be equals.

Good on the Post for taking action. Dater overstepped boundaries several times, through several years. Hell, the first time I saw him pop off and apologize was an anti-ESPN rant published in the dead of night in 2007.

And good on Dater for identifying problems that may have led to this behavior, and hopefully working to remedy it. I didn't always agree with him, or with his approach, but he was a provacative voice in hockey media. Hoping he gets the help he needs, for himself and his family.