A Minnesota sports play-by-play announcer was abruptly pulled from a hockey broadcast after he made a comment about “lynching ropes.”
Doug McLeod, who does play-by-play for the University of Minnesota hockey team on Fox Sports North, was in the booth for the Minnesota Boys’ State Hockey Tournament.
As the Minnesota Star Tribune reports, McLeod’s offending remark came during the Class 2A quarterfinals game between White Bear Lake and Blaine.
After Cole Hansen scored his second goal to give Blaine a 3-0 lead in the second period, McLeod said something that initially seemed to go unnoticed by his broadcasting colleague, Lou Nanne.
“We’ve had one natural hat trick already in the state tournament, that was in the Class A quarterfinals yesterday. And I’m not saying he’s going to get one before all the White Bear fans get out the lynching ropes,” he said.
I’m guessing this is probably what got Doug McLeod pulled from the broadcast this afternoon. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/l6luIKYQBM
— eli swanson (@eswany33) March 8, 2019
To be fair, McLeod’s comment seemed offhand and without any racial maliciousness. Hansen is white.
On the other hand, obviously, the remark was still completely out of line.
— Star Tribune Sports (@StribSports) March 8, 2019
McLeod’s comment is hardly as defensible as Iowa sports announcer Gary Dolphin’s usage of the term “King Kong” to describe a black basketball player.
McLeod has not been suspended — yet — for his remarks, but the backlash was still swift.
And this is why the Gophers need to get rid of him. Even without this stupid comment he is by far the worst announcer Minnesota sports has. Even worse than Gladden
— Tim Kenney (@zamman80) March 8, 2019
Holy bananas! Fine? Suspension? I would fire this guy on the spot!
— Is it summer yet? 🇺🇸 ⚾ (@NatsLady) March 8, 2019
Once the remarks gained some public attention, McLeod was pulled off the air.
“Earlier in this broadcast this afternoon, there was an inappropriate comment made,” Tom Hauser, who was the studio host for the tournament, said to the viewers. “If you were offended by this comment, we sincerely apologize.”
45TV apologized yesterday for Doug McLeod’s “lynching ropes” comment, posting a little longer video for some context to what he said. In no way condoning it. pic.twitter.com/7pytvwhkJx
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 8, 2019
Being a sports announcer is not an easy job by any stretch. Being able to cover the action in a succinct and timely manner, while also providing engaging commentary, is a difficult task. Mistakes and slip-ups are bound to happen.
Even given that, however, making a “lynching” comment, no matter how offhand, in 2019 to describe a sporting event is just a terrible idea.
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