On April 6, 2018, a bus associated with the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team crashed in rural Saskatchewan, Canada, killing 16 people. The national and international response was astounding, including a (the largest ever in Canada) along with another $over just 12 days. Between consistent features in sport media outlets, shout outs from the likes of , a , and a large participatory movement of the tragedy was seemingly omnipresent.
Among the social media buzz, Québec-based writer and activist Nora Loreto commented in a that the “maleness, the youthfulness and the whiteness of the victims are, of course, playing a significant role” in this uptake. was swift and included over 5000 replies to her tweet, death threats, an attempted boycott, and multiple editorials. While were negative, the public response to Loreto’s critique – which was almost as prompt and passionate as the philanthropy toward the players and families – offers us the opportunity to think through the ways in which power and politics play out in the Twittersphere and digital spaces more broadly. The attack on Loreto provided interesting points through which we can critically unpack ideas of nationalism, rurality, and the hockey community in the context of Canadian sport.