Ever since Jonathan Toews made the jump into social media last year, the hockey world has seen a different side of the Chicago Blackhawks captain.
Toews’ online footprint has so far included plenty of posts about teammates, a few photos of his off-season life, and even a glimpse into the hockey player’s political conscience.
In an interview with Jeff Blair on Friday morning, Toews talked about his motives behind joining social media, as well as a recent environmental post that gained some traction in the sports news cycle.
Do you believe in climate change? Whether you’re super pumped that we are putting ‘Americans first’ or you are absolutely outraged at the idea that we are taking yet another step backwards in dealing with a major global problem, the only way to solve this argument is to try and set your own agenda aside and see how this affects everybody. The only lie we tell ourselves is that we are more special than other life forms on the planet. Well, we’re not. Even if we weren’t responsible for any major climate catastrophes heading our way, shouldn’t we still do our part to preserve what we have left? The same way that we shouldn’t wait till our bodies break down completely to start doing the right things to stay healthy, let’s not wait till it’s too late to do something. I am not saying I am perfectly ‘green’, but the first step is to keep an open mind and try to learn what you don’t already know.
33.3k Likes, 959 Comments – Jonathan Toews (@jonathantoews) on Instagram: “Do you believe in climate change? Whether you’re super pumped that we are putting ‘Americans first’…”
Was there any backlash to the post?
“I guess a little bit, if you check the comments,” Toews told Blair of his photo and caption, which was posted shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump opted to reject the Paris Agreement on climate change. “At the end of the day, I try my best to not necessarily force my opinion or force what I think is right on anybody else. It’s clearly something I’ve been vocal about since I joined social media.”
Toews discussed the post as well as his over-arching philosophy when it comes to using social media as a platform, saying his main motive is less about spreading his own opinions and more about encouraging everyone to consider both sides of every debate.
Here’s what he said:
“The major reasons I got on social media to begin with was just to try and get into some non-profit work and start to promote some ideas that I care about as far as health and wellness and, clearly, the environment. So I think in this case, all I was just trying to say was, it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are or what you think you know, at the end of the day sometimes it’s worth putting that aside and listening to what your opponent or the opposition has to say.
“At the end of the day, whether you’re—again, without getting too political—if you’re a Trump supporter or not, it’s just been such a divisive thing, especially if you turn on the TV in the United States or even Canada. I think the best thing we all can do is listen to someone who has a different opinion than us. That’s what I was trying to say, without saying too much about what my personal beliefs are.
“I think people were so quick to jump all over [the Instagram post] and jump all over me as if I was being forthright with what I’m saying. It was interesting to see. At the end of the day, I don’t plan on getting too political—I don’t think there’s any benefit to that—but at the end of the day I still think it’s worth discussing and it’s interesting to see the backlash I guess, too.”