May 11, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT
In the wake of criticism over Ron MacLean’s 9/11 remarks — and MacLean’s subsequent clarification — Don Cherry has jumped to the defense of his longtime broadcast partner.
“I couldn’t believe it when the boss came in during the end of the second period and said people were upset,” Cherry told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “I think what happens is people don’t think as much of hockey players as we love hockey players.
“We think hockey players are the top people in the world. We think they’re tough, that’s all Ron was doing. For people to take it out of context is just unbelievable to me.”
MacLean made the 9/11 reference during the intro of Wednesday night’s Rangers-Capitals Game 6. Here’s the transcript:
“From the capital of the U.S. of A., it’s New York and Washington. The economic and political engines of America, united in the birth of the country, they’re also linked in tragedy. They were the twin targets of the coordinated attacks on 9/11. It’s crazy to compare what the emergency responders did during that time, but a spirit has to start somewhere.
…You can’t help but be struck by the players and the way they’ve played these games. They are like police officers, they are like firefighters. You can’t fight fire with ego
…The pain these men have faced, the price they keep on paying, the hearts they keep on lifting.
…We all know about the firefighters. Our worst day is their every day.”
After receiving great scorn on various social media platforms (which is weird, because social media is usually so opinion free), MacLean issued a statement not of apology, but clarification.
He then followed that statement up with more clarification to the CP:
“I think where I got caught was making the statements about 9/11, quickly saying it would be crazy to compare the work done by the first responders during that time, then I made the point still a spirit has to start somewhere. Then as they moved inside the arena I made the point watching the players in this series, I can’t help but think they are like police officers or firefighters.
“And then we cut to our first shot of a player and it was Brad Richards — a dear friend of mine — sitting there putting on his socks sort of looking laissez-faire, and I think the image of Brad looking almost disinterested coupled with the gravity of what I was talking about just cut a terrible image.”
Anyway, I think we can all agree the moral of the story is this wasn’t MacLean’s fault, and that Brad Richards needs to put on his socks more passionately.
- MacKinnon, Avs shine against Wild, take 2-0 series lead 13
- Video: Roenick says MacKinnon is more dominant at 18 than Crosby was 11
- Blue Jackets gain first-ever playoff win, tie series with Penguins 1-1 33
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) 110
- WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins (Game 2) 4
- Blues come back to stun Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime, take 2-0 series lead 30
- WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues (Game 2) 4
- Flyers’ Mason out of Game 2, Emery to start again 51
- Lucic fined $5,000 for spearing DeKeyser 77
- Getzlaf powers Ducks to Game 2 victory, 2-0 series lead over Stars 7