On Tuesday night's Montreal Canadiens/Toronto Maple Leafs broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada, Ron MacLean, host of the program since 1986, made a remark on air that many are calling homophobic.
MacLean, responding to a comment from fellow pundit Kevin Bieksa, said "you have a photo of a guy with his tarp off, you're definitely positive for something." In hockey parlance, having your "tarp off" means that you have your shirt off.
What are people saying?
Viewers and fans took to Twitter to discuss the remark, with seemingly just as many people calling for MacLean to be fired as there are people criticizing that response.
Others took aim at hockey culture in general.
"i honestly think i could schedule a tweet for every two weeks that says ‘hockey isn't for everyone, and today proves it' and it would be relevant every time," one top tweet reads.
A 2019 study found that homophobic language was systemic in hockey culture, according to CBC News.
The NHL's own "Hockey is for Everyone" campaign states that hockey "should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status."
Has MacLean responded to the accusations?
https://t.co/uXYt311Cdm— Ron MacLean (@Ron MacLean) 1622055321.0
MacLean posted an apology on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, saying his remark was misunderstood and that he understood how.
"The idea of language of intention, of personal responsibility, I have seen those concepts used as broad exoneration," he wrote.
"It's not enough. We have a contract with you the viewer, that in us you see yourself."
"I appreciate the power of the voices who spoke to me last night and this morning."
"It provides a sense of possibility. It's how change works," MacLean concluded.