Shut Up About ‘Fortnite’ Already, Hockey Teams Tell Players

August 31, 2018, 3:46 PM UTC

Major League Baseball isn’t the only professional sport that has an axe to grind with Fortnite. Professional hockey teams are asking players to check their passion for the game.

Some players are reportedly being told to remove Fortnite references from their social media accounts and at least one general manager reportedly said the game has become an issue.

Rick Westland, a correspondent for The Sports Network, broke the news about players in the Ontario Hockey League being told to remove social media references to the game. Another hockey reporter, TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, says an unnamed NHL executive expressed his own concerns.

“That GM told me it’s an issue,” Lavoie told Sportsnet 590. “Before, the athletes were going to bars. Now, they’re staying in hotel rooms or at home and playing video games for hours.”

To be clear, not every hockey team is opposed to Fortnite. Earlier this year, the Toronto Maple Leaves would play together as a bonding exercise. (Not for nothing, but the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs earlier this year.)

And the Carolina Hurricanes took a team visit to Epic Games, creator of Fortnite, to playtest the game earlier this month.

Hockey players, like baseball players before them, are drawn to Fortnite because they have plenty of downtime between games and travel. The game is a quick way to unwind and relax your mind. But in May, Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price missed a start against the New York Yankees because of mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

It wasn’t certain that he’d gotten that from playing Fortnite, which earlier this year crossed the $1 billion threshold. But Price decided to stop playing the game, at least around the ballpark, just to be safe.