NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury announced he is “stepping away” from the booth for the remainder of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, after his widely condemned comment about women during Thursday’s broadcast.
Milbury’s co-host, Brian Boucher, was speaking on the NBC Sports Network during the New York Islanders’ win over the Washington Capitals and saying how wonderful it was to be among the NHL in the league’s coronavirus bubble during the playoffs. But Milbury chimed in and noted that it was easier to concentrate without women.
“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.
But Milbury’s reply raised hackles when he said, “Not even any woman here to disrupt your concentration.”
A woman in the audience took to Twitter to ruefully share the clip of the commentary:
It’s 2020, and yet… pic.twitter.com/d74TMlhkkP
— Alison (@AlisonL) August 21, 2020
Twitter user Alison’s post quickly gained thousands of likes and retweets, so many that Milbury posted an apology to the NBC Sports Twitter feed.
He also announced he would self-suspend from the remainder of the playoffs:
FROM MIKE MILBURY:
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 StanleyCupPlayoffs. I do not want my presence to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the greatest trophy in sports.
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) August 22, 2020
NBC Sports piled on telling the Washington Post that it was “disappointed” in Milbury’s comment. Next the NHL also decried the offhanded remark as “insensitive and insulting.”
A statement from the National Hockey League. pic.twitter.com/YCOTcoaK5l
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 21, 2020
“I sincerely apologize for making the comment,” Milbury added in an NBC Sports statement. “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.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.