Hockey analyst Mike Milbury is once again facing criticism for comments he made on air during “NHL on NBC.”
Milbury faced negative feedback for his take on Tuukka Rask earlier this month. Now, he’s under fire for comments he made about NHL bubble life. Speaking during the Islanders’ 4-0 win over the Capitals on Thursday night, Milbury said there weren’t women in the bubble to “disrupt” the players. His comments came after co-host John Forslund was talking about the enviornment of the bubble.
“If you think about it, it’s a terrific enviornment with regard to — if you enjoy playing and enjoy being with your teammates for long periods of time, it’s a perfect place,” Forslund said.
Milbury responded, “Not even any woman here to disrupt your concentration.”
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On Friday afternoon, the NHL released a statement regarding Milbury’s comments.
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 comment did not reflect the NHL’s values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all.
NBC Sports said in a statement, via the Associated Press, “We’re disappointed about Mike’s insensitive comment and have addressed it with him.”
Mike Milburry added, “I sincerely apologize for making the comment. It was not my intention to disrespect anyone. I was trying to be irreverent and took it a step too far. It was a regrettable mistake that I take seriously.”
ESPN reporter Greg Wyshynski added he had “heard that Mike Milbury is not going to be part of the Flyers/Habs broadcast” Friday night. While NBC Sports did not release a statement saying this, Milbury’s name is not listed on the broadcast crew in the network’s press release.
NBC Sports and the NHL released their statements after many voiced their concerns about the sexist comment on social media.
I’m so sick of Milbury having a platform when they are so many other talented people who would actually help this sport & maybe not view women as “a distraction” https://t.co/8vaXu1S8yN
— Jillian Fisher (@FisherJillian) August 21, 2020
I’m not usually one to call for someone’s head, but NBC needs to to get rid of Mike Milbury. Saying something like “and there weren’t even women there to distract them” is insane. It’s 2020 and hockey fans are diversifying. They/we deserve better.
— Alex Chauvancy (@a_chauvancy23) August 21, 2020
I spent the last two seasons as the only woman traveling with an NHL team and was treated with nothing but respect and I can assure you no one was “distracted” …Hockey is evolving. It’s time the voices of hockey evolve with it. I’m sick of listening to this. https://t.co/Ks47OTyjsd
— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) August 21, 2020
Deleted my tweet from last night; here’s my take after I’ve slept:
What Milbury says here isn’t just sexist, it’s dangerous. Hockey culture already has enough of a problem re: seeing women as lesser than. Stuff like this is why assault accusations etc aren’t taken seriously. https://t.co/GgTQleVhPe
— Hannah Stuart (@HockeywthHannah) August 21, 2020
The way @realmikemilbury said this so casually tells us exactly what time he’s BEEN on so no one should be shocked. But the way he went unchecked on-air and the silence from his peers in this industry. Phew we’ve got a ways to go https://t.co/BeW9KrYtbo
— Kayla Grey (@Kayla_Grey) August 21, 2020
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