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OHL referee suspended for insulting Sault Ste. Marie on Twitter

For The Globe and Mail

J.P. Moczulski

An Ontario Hockey League referee's controversial Twitter post has cost him a lot more than the hostility of some hockey fans.

The OHL announced Wednesday that Joe Monette has been suspended for the balance of the 2012-13 season as well as the playoffs for his disparaging tweet about the city of Sault Ste Marie.

Monette was in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday to officiate a game between the Greyhounds and Windsor when he posted "Soo Saint Marie, two words, Slim Pickens #noteeth #hicktown #allfaties."

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The comment started a backlash on Twitter and Monette later apologized, posting "My tweet last night was not meant to be offensive and was meant as a joke between myself and a buddy of mine that lives in the Soo. I apologize if I offended anybody"

His account @MONZY25 has since been closed to public access.

"Mr. Monette displayed extremely poor judgment and the 'tweet' not only contravened the league's social networking policy, but as well was detrimental to the welfare of the league, the officiating staff and fans of the OHL," OHL commissioner David Branch said in a statement. "The league apologizes to those that may have been offended by such comments."

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