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Reports of former NHL star working at Tim Hortons leads to job-shaming accusations

Donald Brashear has had fans and others rallying to defend him after it was reported that he is working at a Tim Hortons location in Quebec City.
/ Source: TODAY

Hockey fans and members of the public have rallied to defend former NHL player Donald Brashear after it was reported that he now works at Canadian fast-food chain Tim Hortons.

Brashear, 47, who made millions of dollars in a career that spanned from 1993-2010, was noticed recently by customers working at the drive-thru of a Tim Hortons in Quebec City, according to a report in the French newspaper Le Journal de Quebec.

People have rallied to defend former NHL player Donald Brashear, pictured on the New York Rangers, after a story about how he is working at a Canadian fast food restaurant. Brian Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images

The Tim Hortons location is owned by another former NHL player, Pierre Sévigny, who told Le Journal de Quebec that Brashear is helping him out.

“He’s an employee, that’s all," Sévigny said. "We have just started, he is here to help me."

He added, “We’ll take it one day at a time.”

Brashear has endured financial and legal troubles since his retirement, including an arrest on charges of mischief and possession of narcotics earlier this year, according to CBC Radio Canada.

After the story was picked up by other Canadian outlets, including the Montreal Gazette, people defended Brashear on Twitter.

They also took issue with the Montreal Gazette using the Montreal Canadiens-related hashtag #GoHabsGo in their tweet about the story. Brashear played three-plus seasons for the Canadiens to begin his career.

The situation is reminiscent of the support for former "Cosby Show" star Geoffrey Owens after a few news outlets appeared to shame him for working at a Trader Joe's store in Clifton, New Jersey, last year.

Several actors rallied to defend Owens, who is still a regular in the New York TV and film community.

Owens offered advice to others who might find themselves in a similar situation in a first-person essay for TODAY last year.

"Whatever job someone is doing, I think it really helps for them to know that it’s good, and it’s right, and it’s noble," he wrote. "Even if they’re not making as much as they want to make, even if they’re not where they need to be, just to be reassured that, 'Hey, I’m doing what I need to do, I’m where I am now, this doesn’t mean I’ll be here forever.' Hang in there."