Mike Milbury, a National Hockey League analyst for NBC Sports, will not be part of the network’s broadcasts for the rest of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs following a misogynistic comment he made on air on August 20.
During a broadcast of a Washington Capitals-New York Islanders playoffs game, Milbury suggested NHL players can’t get distracted in the league’s quarantined bubbles in the Canadian markets of Edmonton and Toronto due to the lack of women in the controlled environments.
The remarks were quickly and publicly rebuked by the league.
“The National Hockey League condemns the insensitive and insulting comment that Mike Milbury made during [the August 20] broadcast and we have communicated our feelings to NBC,” the NHL said. “The comment did not reflect the NHL’s values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all.”
Two days later, Milbury was spotted at the Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, outside the NHL’s bubble, and NBC Sports announced that Milbury would not be a part of the rest of this year’s playoff coverage.
“In light of the attention caused by recent remark, I have decided to step away from my role at NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” Milbury said. “I do not want my presence to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the greatest trophy in sports.”
Milbury, 68, has been an NHL analyst for NBC Sports since 2008. He has had several other incidents over the years surrounding insensitive comments he made, including a 2011 issue in which he referred to Vancouver Canucks players Daniel and Henrik Sedin on air as “Thelma and Louise.”
The latest Milbury issue also closely follows a separate matter in which Fox Sports parted ways with longtime National Football League broadcaster Thom Brennaman after he uttered an anti-gay slur during a broadcast of Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds.