Matthews takes heat from critics after UFC 263 appearance; ESPN appears to not recognize him

Published June 13, 2021 at 6:37 PM

It goes without saying that Auston Matthews certainly wishes he was still in action in the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, but after falling in 7 to the Montreal Canadiens, Matthews is now focused on finding things to do to keep his mind off of the disappointment of another early postseason exit and preparing himself for the 2021-22 season ahead.

Matthews was able to take in UFC 263 live along with Justin Bieber and teammate Frederik Andersen, among a handful of others in Glendale, AZ on Saturday, with Matthews and Bieber sitting cageside for the event.

As you might expect, the Twitterverse had a field day with this one, with several of Matthews' critics ripping on him in his first appearance at a major public event since bowing out in round one of the playoffs.

Some others chose to take the time to comment on ESPN not tagging Matthews on his way into the building, which is a bit of a bad miss on the part of ESPN, given that they have recently entered into a broadcasting deal with the NHL. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's almost as if the cameraman and the producers don't recognize who he is.

In a lot of ways, I sort of understand ESPN putting the focus on Justin Bieber. A simple glance at both he and Matthews' Twitter following will give you an indication as to who will draw more attention. Matthews and his 223K followers may be a star, but he does not measure up to Bieber and his 113M followers. Bieber is a global mega star.

Still, you have to wonder what the ESPN producers were thinking, missing an opportunity like that to shine a spotlight on the National Hockey League and one of its brightest stars.
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