TV star dumped for ‘insulting’ women remark
The NHL bubble may keep its players safe from COVID-19, but not its fans from Mike Milbury's "insensitive and insulting" commentary.
The NBC Sports analyst came under fire on Friday (AEST), while calling the Islanders and Capitals game, for suggesting that women were a distraction to NHL players.
"If you think about it, [the bubble is] a terrific environment with regard to - if you enjoy playing and enjoy being with your teammates for long periods of time, it's a perfect place," play-by-play man John Forslund said.
"Not even any women here to disrupt your concentration," Milbury replied.
The NHL issued a statement Friday condemning Milbury's remark.
"The National Hockey League condemns the insensitive and insulting comment that Mike Milbury made during last night's broadcast and we have communicated our feelings to NBC," the league said. "The comment did not reflect the NHL's values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all."
NBC Sports said it was "disappointed about Mike's insensitive comment and have addressed it with him." Milbury also issued an apology Friday.
"I sincerely apologise for making the comment. It was not my intention to disrespect anyone," he said in a statement.
"I was trying to be irreverent and took it a step too far. It was a regrettable mistake that I take seriously."
Milbury was stood down from his scheduled TV appearance to call Game 6 of the NHL Playoffs series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens in Toronto on Saturday (AEST).
It's not the first time the former Islanders coach has been called out for his commentary in the bubble, though. Last week, he questioned Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask's decision to leave the bubble for family reasons. It has since been reported there was a family emergency.
"Nobody has simply opted to leave the bubble just because they didn't want to be here and they needed to be with their family," Milbury said at the time. "I would not have done it, the rest of the league's players have not done it."
Milbury's suspension comes after Cincinnati Reds TV caller Thom Brennaman begged for forgiveness after video showed him using a homophobic slur on a hot mic earlier in the day.
"One of the f** capitals of the world," Brennaman could be heard saying before introducing the Fox Sports Ohio TV Major League Baseball broadcast between the Reds and Royals in Kansas City.
The 56-year-old later exited the second game of the scheduled double-header after videos of the incident made the rounds on social media.
"I made a comment earlier tonight that, I guess, went out over the air, that I am deeply ashamed of," Brennaman said during the fifth inning.
"If I have hurt anyone out there, I can't tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I am so very, very sorry. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith. … I don't know if I'll be putting on this headset again. I don't know if it'll be for the Reds, I don't know if it's going to be for my bosses at Fox, I want to apologise to the people that sign my paycheck - for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody I've offended tonight. I can't begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am, it never has been. I'd like to think that I have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.
"Jim Day will take you the rest of the way," Brennaman said, referring to another Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster.
It was unclear whether Brennaman was removed from the broadcast, or left on his own accord
Originally published as TV star dumped for 'insulting' women remark