While appearing as an ESPN commentator during Tuesday night’s Florida Panthers-Toronto Maple Leafs game, Subban, 33, seemingly made a comment about the plus-sized singer.
Subban and ESPN co-host John Buccigross lamented the Leafs’ performance after the team scored only two goals during the home game.
While speaking about the Leafs’ lack of energy on the ice, Buccigross said the team should “pack a lunch” in order to improve.
“Maybe they need to pack a Lizzo-sized lunch,” Subban replied. “They weren’t prepared, in my opinion.”
After the broadcast, many social media users expressed disdain for Subban’s comment about Lizzo, 35, and accused him of fat-shaming.
Others, of course, decried Subban’s critics for being too “sensitive.”
Subban himself referenced the “pack a lunch” comment on Twitter after the broadcast, though he did not mention the controversy. Instead, he defined the slang expression, writing that the Leafs need to “be ready to compete! Bring your work boots!”
“Expect that they are going to try and outwork you in hard areas!” Subban wrote.
The Leafs were defeated by the Panthers 4-2 in the second-round series of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
In March, Subban also stirred controversy after he said NHL players should not be made to wear gear in support of the LGBTQ2 community. The comment came amid protest from other NHLers who objected to participating in NHL Pride Night events, citing reasons including religious beliefs.
“We cannot push everyone to be an activist, we need to be very careful,” Subban told Reuters. “I feel people pick and choose what they want to talk about and I don’t like it when we put the onus on athletes to be activists.”
Subban signed a three-year deal to be a hockey analyst with ESPN in November 2022. He spent the majority of his NHL career playing for the Montreal Canadiens.