Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada host and longtime sidekick to broadcaster Don Cherry, made some rather interesting observations to open up the CBC's broadcast of Rangers and Capitals on Wednesday night.
His intro? Comparing the teams and their players to the firefighters and police officers in the 9/11 attacks that affected both cities the teams that played represent.
Once more, here's what he had to say.
As you might expect, there were plenty of people who raised an eyebrow. It's an interesting connection to make, no doubt. So of course MacLean and CBC issued a statement about the incident on Thursday, not apologizing but instead clarifying the intent of MacLean's message.
"Washington and New York. The two cities united by the tragedy of 9/11. I, like everyone on the planet in his or her lifetime, saw beyond the horror, the single greatest testament to the strength of the human spirit in the efforts of the first responders", says Ron Maclean.
"We never know if we'll have that spirit. The bravery, the resilience. As I made clear, the hockey games in no way compare. However Sports has proven a worthy training ground in nurturing the qualities which beget that spirit. To say he plays like a firefighter or a policeman would instantly conjure the traits an athlete most desires, especially in New York and Washington. There could be no higher praise of a player, no greater choice of a role model.
"But as I said of first responders, 'Our worst day is their everyday'. They stand alone."
I see what he is saying, but man, it just wasn't the best comparison to make.
Clarifying the statement is fine, but I thought it would have been nice to see a little admission that it was a regrettable thing to say.