Broadcaster Mike Milbury will not be calling games for NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after making a highly criticized comment about women not being able to distract players in the league’s bubble.
“In light of the attention caused by my recent remark, I have decided to step away from my role at NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” Milbury said in a statement Saturday. “I do not want my presence to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the greatest trophy in sports.”
Milbury’s controversial remark came during the Islanders’ series-clinching win over the Capitals on Thursday when he was talking about the advantages of the NHL’s playoff bubble with fellow analyst Brian Boucher.
“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.
“Not even any woman here to disrupt your concentration,” Milbury replied.
It’s 2020, and yet… 🤯 pic.twitter.com/d74TMlhkkP
— Alison (@AlisonL) August 21, 2020
The remark was criticized immediately by hockey fans online. The NHL condemned Milbury’s comment and said in a statement that it “communicated our feelings to NBC” about what Milbury said.
“The comment did not reflect the NHL’s values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all,” the league said in the remainder of the statement.
Milbury apologized for the comment Friday through a statement released by NBC Sports.
“I sincerely apologize for making the comment,” Milbury said. “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.”
Milbury was scheduled to work Friday night’s game between the Flyers and the Canadiens but was pulled, an NBC spokesperson told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. He was reportedly seen outside of the league’s bubble in Toronto and was told to go home by NBC Sports, Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur reported earlier Saturday.
The former Bruins player and coach has worked with NBC Sports as an analyst for its hockey coverage since 2008. Milbury, a Brighton native, also spent some time as an analyst for NESN’s Bruins coverage before leaving the network in 2011.
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