American broadcaster NBC Sports was forced to remove Mike Milbury from his NHL assignment after the veteran caller was slammed over a sexist comment during a game.
The NHL issued a formal statement condemning Milbury for the commentary during Thursday’s New York Islanders-Washington Capitals game.
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“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 statement reads.
“The comment did not reflect the NHL’s values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all.”
Milbury made the comment amid a discussion with play-by-play man Brian Boucher about the bubble environment NHL players are playing and living in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Not even any women here’
“If you think about it, it’s 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,” Boucher said.
“It’s the perfect place,” Milbury responded.
“Not even any women here to disrupt your concentration.”
NBC Sports issued a statement on Milbury’s commentary.
“We’re disappointed about Mike’s insensitive comment and have addressed it with him,” the statement reads.
Milbury removed from broadcast
The network later announced that Milbury wouldn’t work his assignment to cover Friday’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.
“Mike Milbury is not working tonight,” an NBC Sports statement said.
“We will announce our commentary teams for this weekend’s games tomorrow evening.”
Milbury issued an apology prior to being removed from the broadcast.
“I sincerely apologize for making the comment,” Milbury wrote. “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.”
Mike Milbury is a dumbass and deserves to be removed for his comment lol— Zach Cardwell (@Zach_Cardwell) August 22, 2020
How does Mike Milbury even have a job still? Why did he ever get it in the first place? He’s out of touch.— Brandi M (@wpgjetsfan123) August 22, 2020
Milbury is dinosaur, he needs to go, NBC should replace him with a woman analyst, theres a few now and they bring a breath of fresh air, I know on CBC Cassie Campbell-Pascall is doing an amazing job.— Marc St-Pierre (@MarcStPierre71) August 22, 2020
What does Milbury have on NBC? This guy gets away with this crap all the time! The NHL should be protecting their Sports Business! Get rid of the Idiot!— Luca (@marsh1923) August 22, 2020
Milbury regularly courts controversy
This is not Milbury’s first brush with controversy. The 68-year-old who played 12 seasons in the NHL was charged with assaulting a 12-year-old boy after a youth hockey game in 2011. The boy was an opponent of his son’s team. The case was later dismissed due to lack of evidence.
As a broadcaster with CBC, Milbury courted controversy by repeatedly using the word “pansification” during broadcasts in 2009.
In 2011, he referred to Vancouver Canucks players and twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin as “Thelma and Louise” as an intended insult during the Stanley Cup Final.
Just last week, he drew fire for criticizing Boston Bruins goaltender Tukka Rask for opting out of the bubble to spend time with his wife and young children. Rask later revealed that his daughter was dealing with a medical emergency.
Milbury played his entire career in Boston and later worked in the front office and as head coach of the Bruins.