PWHL draft pick Britta Curl apologizes for social media activity

PWHL Draft Hockey
PWHL Minnesota second round draft pick Britta Curl, center, poses for a photo with Minnesota assistant coach Mira Jalosuo, right, and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter during the PWHL hockey draft earlier this month. (Renée Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP)
Renée Jones Schneider/AP

Britta Curl — the PWHL Minnesota draft pick facing criticism for her social media activity — has posted an apology to hockey fans. 

The University of Wisconsin graduate was PWHL Minnesota’s choice during the second round of the PWHL draft on Monday. Though she is known as a solid player and a leader on the ice, her selection drew immediate backlash from audiences in person and online. 

This is because of posts Curl has liked on social platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Some seemed to indicate her support for excluding transgender women in sports and other anti-trans messages.

She also appeared to support COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories. She “liked” one post sharing of the “not guilty” verdict for Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people and injured another during protests of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin. 

As of Wednesday, X no longer allows users to view others’ liked posts

Hockey journalist Ian Kennedy told MPR News earlier this week that the controversy with Curl — in addition to another recent scandal with PWHL Minnesota — has the potential to cast a major shadow on the league’s future. The PWHL just wrapped its inaugural season. On Friday evening, Curl returned to X to express her regrets

“My social media activity has resulted in hurt being felt across communities including LGBTQ+ and BIPOC individuals and I just want to apologize and take ownership of that,” Curl said in a video. “I have family members and extremely close friends who are part of these communities and I love them very much.”

Curl said she is honored to have been drafted and hopes to better demonstrate her character to PWHL fans. 

“I’ve played with countless teammates with different personalities, different religious beliefs, political views, different lifestyles, and we’ve always been able to maintain mutual respect and love. And I believe that my former teammates, coaches and staff would agree that this is how I carry myself in and out of the locker room,” Curl said. 

Curl added the controversy has been “an opportunity to grow in humility and grow in love.” 

Also on Friday evening, the PWHL issued its first statement since the draft controversy. 

“Our commitment remains steadfast: to build an inclusive league that develops, supports, and elevates the best women’s hockey players in the world while fostering a safe and welcoming environment for our growing, diverse and devoted fan base.”

Correction (June 16, 2024): This article incorrectly stated the events surrounding Jacob Blake and Kyle Rittenhouse. The story has been updated.