Pink thong-clad man in neknomination video apologizes
Social media helping to fuel game that has been linked to deaths
A man at the centre of an online drinking challenge in Newfoundland and Labrador is apologizing.
A video recently emerged showing Mark Snook performing a neknomination challenge – a game where people film themselves drinking a pint of an alcoholic beverage and upload the footage to the web.
Snook was shown chugging what appeared to be a mug of beer mixed with protein powder before stripping down to a pink thong and skating a lap of the new Bannerman Park Loop in St. John's.
The video was shot at night, with Snook swearing and performing the ritual while whizzing by families with young children.
After completing the lap, Snook challenged friends, by name, to top his stunt.
While that particular video looks like harmless fun, other stunts linked to the global game have had deadly consequences.
At least four people have died in the United Kingdom because of neknominations, either from the drinking or the stunts they tried to do after downing the booze.
Snook said his actions were not meant to offend people and that he did not do anything illegal.
"When I went down, I never actually consumed beer. I took a Coors Light bottle and filled it with a non-alcoholic beer," said Snook speaking to On the Go's guest host Krissy Holmes on Thursday.
"I was aware of the kids that were down there. A lot of the parents came up and approached me, and I told them what I was doing and they seemed fine with it," said Snook.
Some say neknominations are nothing that haven't been going on for years at parties and bars. Others say it's a dangerous game that's been taken to another, disturbing level, thanks to the internet and social media.
Drinking stunts not new
University students here chalk it up to simple oneupmanship among friends, adding such stunts have been showing up on Facebook for some time.
"Peer pressure, I guess," said MUN student Alyson King, when asked why she thought people partake.
"They want to beat their friends, is basically what it's all about. They want to go ahead and chug more than their friends can."
No game-related deaths have been reported in this province. In fact, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary hadn't even heard of neknominations, until CBC asked the question.
As the popularity of neknominations grows, so do the warnings.
Just this week, Dalhousie University in Halifax warned its students to think about what they're sharing online.
City responds to video
The City of St. John’s released a statement Thursday, reminding residents that public drinking and disorderly behaviour would not be tolerated at city facilities.
“This is a disgraceful display of indecency and immaturity,” said Mayor Dennis O’Keefe.
“I am disappointed in this behaviour, particularly at a location that is meant to be enjoyed by families.”
The City said it has directed the video to the attention of the RNC.
"I'd like to I'm sorry to anyone that I've offended who's seen the video. I didn't mean to harm anyone. I hope everyone can forgive me for what I've done," said Snook.
Meanwhile, a mother in St. John's discovered recently that her 16-year-old daughter had been nominated to chug a pint of alcohol and post the video.
Karin Power said many of her daughter's Facebook friends were encouraging her to take part — and Power is worried about how many teens are taking part in the dare.
"Over the course of the past few days I've been monitoring. I was in disgust — and in shock actually at the amount of teenagers you know, in our local area who are actually out there and doing this kind of thing. There's been quite a few. It's pretty disgusting actually," Power said.
Power said her daughter is aware of the dangers of the stunt and won't be taking part.