TORONTO – Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean has apologized for setting off a social media firestorm following the Montreal-Tampa Bay game.
During the Canadiens 4-3 win over the Lightning, MacLean suggested a French-speaking referee should not have worked the game.
The comment apparently stemmed from a complaint by Lightning coach Jon Cooper who felt his team lost because of a bad call from a ref during Sunday’s Game 3 defeat.
MacLean suggested the NHL used a French referee to send a signal to the Florida team in the wake of Cooper’s complaint.
Later in the CBC broadcast, MacLean said he was sorry, adding it is ”divisive any time you become about French and English in our country.”
He said he certainly didn’t intend to go down that path.
MacLean added that while he thought Francois St. Laurent ”maybe shouldn’t have been put into Game 4, I’d have no problem with Game 5, 6 or 7.”
MacLean explained that he wouldn’t send an Alberta referee in to do an Alberta game had an Alberta official been involved in a tough Game 3.
”It’s not about French Canadians, certainly not about French, and that’s what I kinda triggered and it’s easy to step into that kind of mistake.”
The Canadiens swept Tampa Bay in four games.
If this is true, then it would appear that that old stalwart, or should I now say “ex-stalwart”, Ron Maclean, has been spending way too much time with his partner in crime, Don Cherry. One would expect to hear Cherry utter xenophobic stuff like that but not Ron the don.
When MacLean adds that ”maybe shouldn’t have been put into Game 4, I’d have no problem with Game 5, 6 or 7″ in an effort to extricate himself from this most difficult situation that only he himself is responsible for getting himself into, he comes across as even a bigger xenophobe. He should have just apologized instead of trying to defend what is in fact indefensible.
This whole mess started when Maclean made the ridiculous suggestion on air “that the NHL used a French referee to send a signal to the Florida team in the wake of Cooper’s complaint”, a small-minded and baseless comment to begin with by Maclean and, by implication, by the Tampa coach, Jon Cooper.
And then there’s this: “MacLean explained that he wouldn’t send an Alberta referee in to do an Alberta game had an Alberta official been involved in a tough Game 3.”
Ronny boy, I have a question for you in the wake of this comment: Why do you not think before you speak, you dear man, you?
Copy and paste this link into your web browser for Jack Todd’s opinion of the Ron Maclean mess:
… and this on the same issue from the Gazette’s Cam Cole:
Peace and love.