Bobby Ryan
Tennessee Man Tips $22,000 And Gets Arrested For Public Intoxication Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Former National Hockey League (NHL) star Bobby Ryan expressed his gratitude to fans who wished him well after his arrest on Monday in connection to public intoxication charge.

"I've had so many incredible messages today," Ryan wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "Thank you for all of them. Today is day 1 (again). Mostly embarrassed, but I shouldn't be. Today I'm waking up and choosing better."

"Every now and again you're reminded exactly why social media exists and today is such a good reason. Thank you guys all from the bottom of my heart. I hate that I'm here, but it's where I am and I'll own that."

Ryan, 35, was arrested on Monday at the Nashville International Airport and charged with public intoxication. According to the police, during his arrest, Ryan was "unaware of his location, the day or time and posed a danger to himself."

Security cameras also caught Ryan shoplifting before entering a bar. Once the airport police were notified about the illegal act, they started a search for Ryan. Eventually, they found him sitting in an airport bar, waiting for a drink he had just ordered after leaving the stolen items on an airport counter.

The airport store he allegedly shoplifted from did not press charges. However, Ryan was still taken into custody for public intoxication. After the standard eight-hour public intoxication hold, authorities released Ryan and dropped all charges.

Ryan has dealt with alcohol abuse issues throughout his NHL career. He missed three months of the 2019-20 season while attending an NHL player assistance program; Ryan was away for several months. He eventually made a dramatic return on Feb. 25, 2020, scoring a hat trick in his first home game since taking leave. Ryan played over 860 games in the NHL, mainly with the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators.

In September 2020, Ryan was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the league, an annual honor given to a player who shows perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication. "Getting help and learning and becoming better in all aspects of my life is certainly better than the alternative and the way that I was headed," Ryan told "The things that I've learned about myself, the secondary life, the new life I've built. It means more to me than chasing the Cup."

Ryan is currently a free agent after playing with the Red Wings during the 2020-21 season.

Bobby Ryan
Bobby Ryan #54 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena on February 15, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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