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Holy Cross's Jack Robilotti defends Mercyhurst's Carson Briere during a 2021 NCAA hockey game in Worcester, Mass. The son of Philadelphia Flyers interim GM Danny Briere has apologized after a video posted on social media showed him pushing an empty wheelchair down a set of stairs.The Associated Press

Nowadays, so many bad things float through our daily news radar that we only have bandwidth for a few of them.

Carnage in Ukraine? That’s too awful for most people to wrap their heads around.

But some muppet tossing a wheelchair down a flight of stairs? People get that. It makes them wild with rage.

That was the big online hockey story of the week, though it had little to do with hockey.

In a hi-def security video taken in a stairwell at a bar, our scene is set by two guys in backward baseball caps – a universally understood visual cue that something stupid is about to happen. The pair spot a wheelchair sitting empty at the top of the stairs. One of them gets into it and mimes wheeling himself around. Hilarious.

He gets out. The pair are chatting the whole while. Others pass them. One of them turns the chair toward the top step, suggestively. White Baseball Cap Guy tips it down the stairs. By the time it’s crashing at the bottom, both of them have already turned away.

This probably would have been an internet thing regardless of who’d done it. But White Baseball Cap Guy is Carson Brière, son of Philadelphia Flyers GM Danny Brière.

When you see something like this and then hear who’s involved, a series of automatic connections are made in your mind. A kid raised with a lot of money and not a lot of adult supervision. Someone who thinks he’s better than everyone else. Someone who gets a kick out of humiliating others.

Most of us have known this guy, or some version of him. We don’t like him. Seeing him getting away with it – because that’s what happens on the video – makes us bonkers.

It used to take a while for these sorts of dramas to play out: ‘Who? Me? Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure where I was that night. I don’t think I own that hat. Hey, now that I think of it, maybe that is me, but the video doesn’t tell the whole …’

That’s 2013 thinking. Current crisis methodology has sped up the process. People understand that once once the Internet has you target-locked, your only hope is to roll onto your back and grovel.

If the novel is dead then the great literary device of our time is the apology statement. Some people manage to get it right. The Brières are not those people.

Father and son put out joint statements, deepening the impression that this was an act committed by a man-child. There was a grammatical error in it, suggesting no professional communications person had gone over it. That would mean Danny Brière actually wrote, “Carson is very sorry.”

I’ve been thinking about it all week and I can’t come up with a worse choice of words. “Carson isn’t sorry at all” would be better, since it would at least sound honest.

If you’re going to write that, you might as well sign the letter off from the bar at your country club: “Heard about the unpleasantness. Let me assure you that little Suzie is very sorry. We’ve told her ‘No more BMW’ until she pulls up her socks. If she wants to go to Prada, she can take the Subaru.”

But it is in the way of these things that it will pass. It’s the two-week rule. If you can survive a sports crisis for two weeks, you’re in the clear. By then, people will have wandered off to rage about something else. All you have to do is apologize, turtle and wait for the news cycle to rinse you clean of sin.

Consequences? No, there aren’t many of those. We have no apparatus for that. Too complicated. Much simpler to rage and forget.

What else happened in sports this week? Varying levels of awfulness, each driving news far more than actual sports competition.

Problem: Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is in trouble for the usual sort of thing – beating up teenagers, flashing guns on live streams, being an entitled knob.

Solution: Announce that you are talking to a therapist, and that the gun wasn’t yours. “Ja is very sorry.”

Problem: U.S. Soccer is in uproar after a former star and his wife torpedoed the current men’s coach because he wouldn’t play their kid.

Solution: Hire lawyers to drill down on this galactically stupid case of helicopter parenting. Release a report that goes over the whole thing in granular detail. If the goal was making everyone involved look ridiculous, mission accomplished.

Problem: It turns out that half the Alabama men’s basketball team was either tangentially involved in and/or present at a deadly shooting.

Solution: Solution? It’s March Madness. Alabama’s a No. 1 seed. The solution is to pretend nothing happened. Murder is one thing, but TV contracts are binding.

Confusing “great at sports” with “great at life” is an old story. There was a useful pushback on this idea in the 1990s. Its most distilled essence was Charles Barkley staring into a camera and announcing, “I am not a role model.”

But since then, we’ve returned to expecting athletes to be avatars of moral rectitude. Sports is to blame for this. They’d wriggled themselves off the sermonizing hook. But somewhere between fly-overs during the various wars and being seen to loudly embrace political parties and causes, they stuck themselves back up on it.

If you’re going to tell people you’re on the right side of things, they will accept that. Unfortunately, they will then expect you to act in an upright way. Not just a few of you. All of you.

When you miss that bar, people get worked up. Videotape of one bad decision at a nightclub undermines millions of dollars worth of limp sloganeering. There is a difference between the people you are and the people you say you are. Choosing to highlight the gap might not be the best PR decision.

At another time, measures would have to be taken to fix the problem. A new generation of Barkleys would be required. But not now. They’ve got the two-week rule. As long as that functions, sports gets to be the good guys, the bad guys and everything in between, and no one bothers to point out the dissonance.