ABOVE: Do you agree with Ron MacLean’s controversial comments?
TORONTO – Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean has apologized for setting off a social media firestorm during Tuesday’s Montreal-Tampa Bay game.
“First of all, I want to say I’m sorry. It’s divisive any time you become about French and English in our country. But I didn’t intend to go down that path,” MacLean said later.
No one has asked me to clarify or apologize for my comments re: refs in Montreal. I’m truly sorry for making it a French issue wi
— Ron MacLean (@RonMacLeanCBC) April 23, 2014
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 on Sunday because of a bad call from ref Francois St. Laurent.
Fellow commentator Elliotte Friedman pushed MacLean to clarify his stance on the referee situation.
“So you’re saying there should never be a French referee in Quebec?” Friedman asked.
“Just this time, just after what happened in Game 3,” MacLean said.
MacLean suggested the NHL used a French referee to send a signal to the Florida team in the wake of Cooper’s complaint.
“When you send a referee from Quebec into the next game… I wouldn’t have sent an Alberta ref in to do an Alberta game had an Alberta official been involved in a tough Game 3,” MacLean said. “I’d have no problem with Game 5, 6 or 7.”
The Canadiens swept Tampa Bay in four games.
Reaction on Twitter:
BREAKING: RON MACLEAN DEMANDS THAT FUTURE OLYMPIC REFEREES MUST BE ALIENS, SO THEY HOLD NO BIAS TOWARDS ANY COUNTRY.
— InfoAlerteBot (@InfoAlerteBot) April 23, 2014
Missed second intermission of SJ-LA. Did Ron MacLean weigh in on Mexican migrant workers?
— Mitch Melnick (@HunterZThompson) April 23, 2014
Too bad everyone didn’t have as much class as Ron MacLean. Had a good point. Used bad wording. Owned up to it and apologized. Well done.
— Troy Gillard (@Troy_Gillard) April 23, 2014
I believe Ron MacLean just raised the possibility that a French-Canadian ref might favour the Canadiens. Might be a new low, even for him.
— Jack Todd (@jacktodd46) April 23, 2014
What’s interesting about the Ron Maclean kerfuffle is it was Qc anglos who went ballistic, including me. Sometimes we’re all nationalists.
— Barb (@barb_hill) April 23, 2014
@FredPoulin98 lui ainsi que tous les idiots qui pensent que les arbitres ont fait gagné le CH.
— GG Albert (@Cpt_Tapcon) April 23, 2014
@Will__Murray I don’t blame him here, Friedman’s right, perception is important as anything else, ‘specially with such horrible off’ting
— Brian (@BriMcCauley) April 23, 2014
-with files from The Canadian Press
© Shaw Media, 2014