Matt Petgrave defended Adam Johnson’s “disgusting” allegations

Fans of late hockey player Adam Johnson are supporting the player he collided with during a game that led to his untimely death.

Johnson, 29, a former NHL forward with the Pittsburgh Penguins, died after suffering a cut to his neck, apparently from player Matthew Petgrave’s blade, during a game in England’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).

The incident occurred on Saturday between Johnson’s Nottingham Panthers and Petgrave’s Sheffield Steelers.

Matthew Petgrave and Adam Johnson
From left: Matthew Petgrave at Orleans Arena on April 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Adam Johnson of the Pittsburgh Penguins runs against the New York Rangers on March 25, 2019 in New York City. Johnson’s fans have defended Petgrave after he was involved in a fatal collision with Johnson on Saturday.
Jeff Botari/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Petgrave has come under intense scrutiny from social media users. Many shared footage of the horrific incident and analyzed it to determine whether it was intentional or not.

However, hockey fans condemned all speculation surrounding the incident, labeling it a “freak accident” and saying they had supported Petgrave at a difficult time for him.

“We stand with Matthew Petgrave at this tragic time for him,” an EIHL fan account posted on X, formerly Twitter, in a post that has been viewed more than 193,000 times.

“As our piece reporting on the devastating loss of Adam Johnson reached a level of coverage that we have never experienced and will likely never experience again, it is associated with being used to express opinions about Matthew Petgrave, which we condemn in the strongest possible terms.”

“If you blame the player for a freak accident, do not express that opinion on our account or use our announcement to talk about your nefarious intentions.”

Newsweek has emailed the Sheffield Steelers for comment.

Fans’ support for Petgrave comes after some questioned whether he would be prosecuted over the incident.

But criminal justice experts said so Newsweek that was highly unlikely.

“The basic point is that injuries caused in the course of ordinary, lawful sporting competition fall within the scope of ‘normal contact’ and therefore do not give rise to a claim for liability, even if, for example, they violate a rule of the game “that constitutes a bad or constitutes violent behavior,” said Jeremy Horder, professor of criminal justice at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

“However, very extreme recklessness, for example intentionally wearing specially sharpened boots or the like, or intentionally inflicting serious injury, may not fall within this exception and will be punished like any other attack resulting in death. I do.” I am not aware that anything like that was involved in this case.

Nicola Lacey, also a law professor at the LSE, agreed it was unlikely criminal charges would be brought against Petgrave.

“From what I’ve read in the news it seems very unlikely that the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) will prosecute: manslaughter requires either gross negligence – a really big departure from normal standards of care to get a criminal charge To justify responsibility – or a… “This is an unlawful and dangerous act – the latter is only likely if, for example, there had been a fairly blatant breach of the sports rules,” she said Newsweek.

“If it really were a ‘freak accident,’ none of these tests would pass; and the CPS can only prosecute if there is a realistic chance of conviction,” she said.