Federal mediator Guy Serota was removed as a NHL-NHL Players’ Association mediator just hours after he was appointed Monday, after users drew attention to his partisan, and at times vulgar, Twitter account.
Soon after Serota was appointed Monday — along with Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney — hockey fans started Googling and they came across a Twitter account belonging to Serota, one that has now been cleaned up.
Before Tuesday morning, however, Serota’s Twitter account listed him as a commissioner with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (a U.S. government agency) and had a link to the FMCS website.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, the account contained partisan political tweets such as: “Great morning here in USA! Obama is still President. Restores my faith in the American voter (after 2 terms George W).”
And, perhaps more damaging, it also contained a slew of off-colour jokes, including one referencing comedian Sarah Silverman, which contained a curse and the words “jew terrorist whore.”
More tweets are available here.
The account has since been cleaned up and it reappeared with this tweet:
Sorry about that ladies and gentlemen, my account was temporarily hacked. Of course, my professionalism now requires me to focus on my work.
— Guy Serota (@GuySerota) November 26, 2012
Whether the account had been hacked, as Serota claims, or not, the FMCS released a statement saying he would be removed from the mediations:
“Within one hour after I issued a press release announcing that further negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA would be conducted under the auspices of the FMCS, it has been called to my attention that there are issues involving an allegedly hacked Twitter account associated with Commissioner Guy Serota, one of the mediators I assigned. Accordingly, in order to immediately dispel any cloud on the mediation process, and without regard to the merits of the allegations, I have determined to take immediate action, namely to remove Commissioner Serota from this assignment.”
The mediation is seen as an attempt to move forward stalled talks between both sides, and is something that the league tried back in 2004-05 without success.