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Duncan Keith awkwardly responds to female reporter following loss

Apr 23, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

Duncan Keith, Derek Roy AP

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had a tough night against Vancouver in their 3-1 loss to the Canucks. Keith was beaten by Daniel Sedin on their third goal of the game and his one means of defending the shot was to slash him.

Keith was asked about the play following the game by Team 1040 in Vancouver’s Karen Thomson. Keith’s reply to her query came off sounding a bit nasty. (audio here)

Thomson: “It looked like maybe there was a penalty that went undetected. You seemed a bit frustrated.”

Keith: “Oh no I don’t think there was. I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as a ref maybe, hey?”

Thomson: “Yeah, maybe! Can’t skate though.”

Keith: “First female referee. Can’t play probably, either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? OK, see ya.”

Some are taking his reply as being a sexist rip job. Others say he’s just a grumpy player giving a sarcastic answer.

Players giving snarky answers after a loss (or even a win if you’re Chris Pronger) is nothing new, but did this cross a line? I’m sure you’ll debate that in the comments politely.

For what it’s worth, here’s how Thomson handled it via Twitter:

  1. ravenscaps48 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Sarcasm at it’s finest.

    • trbowman - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM


      • ravenscaps48 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        My bad.

    • bcisleman - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      Actually I think he was just being a jerk. He may have been unhappy with his play and annoyed at the question, but that was unprofessional.

      • elvispocomo - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Pretty much that. He was obviously frustrated (in his response and in the actual slash to Daniel on the breakaway) and he responded poorly. But Keith has shown n the past he’s hardly a gentlemanly player on the ice – in fact with his actions against the very same player at almost exactly this time a year ago.

        Maybe it’s just Daniel he really doesn’t like? :O

    • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I’m going with both sexist and being a jerk. He’s clearly using “female” as a pejorative term.

      • elvispocomo - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        People on here won’t understand what your saying if you use terms like pejorative, female and jerk.

      • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Well that’s certainly true, given the down-thumbs.

    • florida727 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Either way, get the skirt out of the locker room. If she didn’t have tits and a bleached out smile, she wouldn’t have a job. How can anyone who has never laced up a pair of skates possibly know what a player feels? Held your own? Guess again, honey. You got trashed. Best part? You don’t even realize it.

      • vanfoodman - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:09 AM

        Seriously? Do you hate women that much sweetheart or are you just a troll?

    • blackhawksfan54 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM


  2. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    One thing the NHL does a very good job of is allow its players to be people. In the NHL more than any other sport, players are given the freedom to give quirky and fun answers, as well as show a little bit of vitriol when they feel like they’re dealing with an annoying reporter (like this and Matt Cooke yesterday).

    I don’t think it was sexist, just Keith responding to a silly question.

    • bcisleman - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Why is the question silly? It was a key play in the game and he seemed to slash Sedin. What’s wrong w/ asking him about it?

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Sorry – poor phrasing on my part. The question was not silly (as you both pointed out), but rather, to me, I don’t know exactly what Thompson was trying to get out of the question. Duncan certainly wasn’t going to say, “Yeah you’re right – I was trying to tomahawk him as best I could so that he wouldn’t score,” but its obvious that that wasn’t exactly a sound defensive play either. So in effect (in my estimation – I’m obviously not in her head), she essentially was saying, “So Duncan, remember when you slashed that guy and got away with it?”

        Regardless of the question, I was more just trying to point out that I appreciate that the NHL is a league in which players don’t have to give these types of cookie cutter answers. On a hard foul in the NBA (which is the closest equivalent I can think of at the moment) you can take it tot he bank that the guy would say something like, “Ya know, we’re out there battling all game, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help the team win… I think it looked worse than it was blah blah blah.”

    • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Silly question? How? To me a silly question would be the question that gets asked every single night before every game, when they talk to the team captains: “What do you have to do to win the game tonight?” It’s a garbage question that results in hackneyed and trained answers, because as if a team is going to give away what their strategy might be.

      • supercoop8 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        We need to get skating, get pucks in deep, get the forecheck going early, simplify our play in the neutral zone and just play some good hockey.

      • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Total team effort, play a full 60, and just go out and do our game.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      I agree there was a bit of a backhanded agenda in asking the question, since it was more than just whacking the ankles or hooking the arms when Daniel clearly had him beat. Hard to call a penalty though when Daniel scores a split second after – although if he hadn’t, might have been an easy call.

  3. okphi1124 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    totally didn’t cross the line. that exact same dialogue could have been used between a player and a male reporter and would have gone completely undetected. those on the “sexist rip job” side are unarguably PC-hypersensitive.

    on an unrelated note, nobody even remotely associated with the blackhawks organization has any semblance of class. especially the fans.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Thanks, bud. Right back at ya.

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      That’s a weird way to put it, because if you just reverse the gender (ie. “same dialogue could have been used between a player and a male reporter”) then Keith would have been suggesting that the reporter could be the first male referee which is nonsensical.

      As for whether the comment is “sexist” or not: he observes her gender and implies that it (her gender) has no place in the NHL – then goes on and gives another reason (“can’t play, probably, either, right?”) why she has no business commenting on the game.

      The exclusion based on gender is there, it’s just not central to Keith’s response. But whatever. Women do have little or no place in the NHL (except as paying customers) so it’s not hardly surprising to see one have this fact used against them.

      I don’t think it is a big deal, although I would prefer that if someone is going to be an exclusionary asshole they do it based on merit (eg. “you probably never played”) rather than gender.

      • davebabychreturns - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        “it’s not hardly surprising” nice work dave.. “it’s hardly surprising” is what I meant there.

      • sabatimus - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Wrong. They have the ice girls…………………….

      • davebabychreturns - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM


      • chicagoenforcer - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Excuse me. I have played hockey for 18 years and I am a female. I have had better stats than most of the guys in my league. I have scored the most goals on my team as a center, had the most assists as a defense man, and I have had the best goalie stats that my team has had in its entire history. I do agree that this reporter has no place to comment on the game. If the NHL would allow women in there league, we would have a place. Also, I have gone and beaten every single guy I have gotten in a fight with. Women in hockey has hold their own.

      • davebabychreturns - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        Good for you, chicagoenforcer. I say that without irony.

        That being said, as I mentioned earlier if you’re going to tell someone they have no business commenting on the game you should be doing it based on their experience rather than on their gender.

        As for Duncan Keith making snarky comments about whether a reporter has any place commenting on the game, I wonder if he does this after a victory in Chicago getting soft balls from Blackhawks beat writers? Or does he only have a problem with the level of expertise from reporters who ask him about his mistakes on the ice..

      • florida727 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        #chicagoenforcer, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you’re full of sh*t. According to you, you’re the best offensive player, the best defensive player, and the best goaltender in your “league”. You’re either one of the greatest female athletes in America, or you’re playing in a league with a bunch of 4th graders. My guess is the latter. #thumbsdowntoskirtswhothinktheycanplaywithguys

    • chihawks4life - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      no class eh. that doesnt make any sense. last time i checked chicago and its fans didnt riot after losing in the cup finals….TWICE, talk about no class and no respect for your city and team. hawks decided to take the high road instead and actually WIN the cup and pretty sure they are they only team giving a bunch of free signed stuff to the fans EVERY game this year, if thats not a classy organization im not sure what is. i can tell you whats not classy, teaching your players that its ok to play dirty but when it happens to them its time to cry like babies they are…and IT WAS a stupid question, clearly there was going to be a penalty and since he scored there was none, dont ask stupid question and you wont get sarcastic responses

      • kitshky - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Seriously …let the riot go. You guys only make yourself seem stupider every time you try and paint it as strictly a “Vancouver” thing.

      • chihawks4life - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        well kitshky, glanced at ur lil article there and ur not helping your point because these riots were after winning a ship and not rioting for being a sore loser, that would be strictly a vancouver thing and thus making you n canucks fans look even stupider for posting that article anyway when the cancuks do something worth noting then u guys can step up n talk until then u can continue crying

      • kitshky - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        You are literally too stupid…

        “After the madness was over, some Chicago officials proclaimed the riot of 1993 to have been tamer than that of ’92; after all, there were only 682 arrests this time compared with 1,016 a year ago. Yet no one died in the ’92 rioting…”

        Chicago sports fans responded to a sporting event by tearing their city apart …2 consecutive years in a row. How in the world is that OK if you win!?

        When you tear your city apart back to back years, loot daycare’s and public schools, shoot and kill innocent bystanders (including a mother with a baby in her arms and an 12 year old boy) all in all leave 3 people dead, and end up with 700+ and 1,000+ arrests respectively … you should probably lay off the sanctimonious criticism of a city with two much smaller riots almost 20 years apart.

        But ya … I mean its cool cause ya won though right?

      • davebabychreturns - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        You write like you are either partway through high school, or like that’s where you were when you dropped out.

  4. sportsfreak13 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    First off she would be the first female NHL referee so that is merely a fact rather then a sexist dig. Second after the reporter said “yeah maybe” she also said ” I can’t skate though”. Not sure why that part was eliminated in this article, but that leads to Duncan Keith’s point that she can’t probably play either (you know considering she cant skate).

    • nichis01 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      It clearly says above, “Thompson: Yeah, maybe! Can’t skate though”. So your argument is pretty flawed.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        They added that after my comment pointed it out. People who read the article early before the editing can testify to this.

  5. myroncopesflask - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Their periods attract bears!

    • valoisvipers - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      That would make Bryz very nervous.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Only in Canada.

  6. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Perhaps the press should submit all questions in writing, which can be approved by the GM of the respective teams previous to be being submitted to the players, then the players can draft a response that Bettman can approve before being submitted back to the writers.

    OR, when you stick your microphone in someone’s face that just lost a highly competitive game, you can suck it up and roll with the punches.

    Something tells me you don’t get to be a female sports reporter in a male sports league by being soft or sensitive, though…I’d bet she can take the comments and come back for more.

    • valoisvipers - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      The difference between a 9 and a 10 is a 10 is a 9 that swallows.

      • babykaby - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:43 AM

        I guess that means you’re a 10.

  7. comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Apparently there’s more preceding the interview to suggest the reporter was full-on baiting Keith, who bit down hard.

    Then there’s her tweet following:

    So I think my exchange with Duncan Keith is renewing the #Canucks #Blackhawks rivalry!

    Sounds like a reporter trying to inject themselves into the story instead of actually reporting it. Not the first to do it. Not the last.

    Keith’s comes off like an complete ass here, but he’s also not the first player to play the “you’ve never played” card. It just happens to be a female reporter on the other end.

  8. thehighcountrybear - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Still, the question was designed to draw a response, which is fine if it had been founded in hockey logic or simple common sense…

    Keith’s sarcastic rejoinder was warranted in the face of a blatant attempt to bait him; the reporter presumed to know what Duncan was feeling and implied he had to resort to a two-hander to release frustration…?

    Keith treated her in kind while pointing out the obvious; she couldn’t have a clue about what a player was thinking or doing in those circumstances. Had she, she wouldn’t have asked…

    [ incidentally Duncan, Robyn Regehr wants his axe back ]

  9. nananatman - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    I’m happy with it, good answer.

  10. thehighcountrybear - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Maybe our intrepid reporter should have followed this line of reasoning…

    ‘Wow, you nearly got there after Hjarmallson was beaten on the other side…great hustle!

    [ thanks babe, what isss that scent you’re wearing ]

    ‘Did you let-up on the slash, going for his heavily padded hip instead of legs or ankle?’

    [ it was a professional foul…Danny and I are old friends who respect each other ]

    ‘Do you know if Crawford was hurt when Daniel went through his right leg?’

    [ Corey’s fine…he has a wooden leg, you should have seen him pour ’em back on the plane coming in, nudge nudge wink wink ]

    ‘Do you guys always smell this gooooood in your equipment after games? Are you married or dating…?’

    [ unintelligible response as Duncan adjusts his can while reaching for cell phone ]

  11. pafinest87 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I see no harm in his remarks. He’s a good guy that made this comment after a hard fought game. If you don’t want some smartass comments don’t interview guys directly after a game. Wait for the emotions to subside and then do it. Plus when did we all become so sensitive? Let move on with this and the matt Cooke stories.

  12. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    So not only are Vancouver’s fans and players insufferable, but you can add the local media to the list.

    It’ll be fun to watch them wash out the playoffs in the first round.

  13. pariseinminnesotabichez - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    If you can’t skate why are your reporting for a hockey team? He has a point

    • micasa81 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Nope, not really.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      Just like if you can’t skate why are you commenting on a hockey blog. Whadya mean, “no”?

  14. wisbadgers - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    At least he didn’t slam her head against the glass like he did to the Sedin sister. I say she got off easy. Keith’s a loose cannon and you best keep your distance before he snaps in your direction.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      If you’re going to troll, get the play right. Daniel put Keith’s head in the glass. Keith straight-up elbowed Daniel away from the glass.

      • wisbadgers - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        Sorry, you’re wrong.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        If you’re talking about the game for which Keith was suspended last year, then no, I’m afraid I’m not.

  15. hosewater2 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Ya know Bieksa plays with an edge similar to Keith, but ya know Bieksa actually fights once in awhile too. And wins. Duncan’s just grumpy because he’s missing having John Scott to fight his fights. And because he’s named Duncan.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      It’s funny you mention Bieksa, the guy that skates away from John Scott to go after world-reknown fighter Viktor Stalberg.

      As for Keith, he actually will fight, though, frankly, he’s not going to scare anyone. And and when I say “fight,” I don’t mean pull hair and knee the other guy in the groin. Or jump someone with two buddies.

  16. dt58 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    So, Keith pointed out that she’s female and that she can’t play hockey…the nerve of him. This PC bubble-wrapped crap makes me sick to my stomach. She made a stupid comment (not a question) and he responded with a sarcastic response. Funny thing is, the people on here whining the loudest about his comments are the same ones that LOVE to come on here and express their opinions whether it might offend someone or not. So, which way should it be? Either we all as a soceity need to get thicker skin and stop being such b!tches about every little comment or outright remove our freedom of speech.

  17. doy118 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    As a lifelong Blackhawks fan – yeah , it was a slash , totally done in frustration. I was watching the game and said to myself “we got away with one there”. Regarding Duncan Keith – any guy that gets like 9 teeth smashed out of his mouth , goes in and gets stitched up , and then goes down to block a shot after it , is OK with me. You don’t always hear the words that are being said to you … I think he heard ” you really got pissed on pretty bad there by Sedin – kinda’ made you look like a fool , ay ?” , so I think his answer was pretty good. My answer would have been “blow me” – lol …. and yes , the Chicago / Vancouver rivalry is in full effect. I welcome the matchup – if we should meet down the road in the playoffs.
    You did a good job Karen – and you did hold your own.

  18. mbacidore - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Stupid question. Why do reporters and analysts insist on questioning referee’s calls? It’s no wonder children learn at an early age to blame officials for losses. They hear it in the media all the time. When the referee does or doesn’t make a call, that’s that. Last night’s win was a good one for Vancouver. Isn’t that enough? If anything, the game shows that there is no rivalry between the two. The Hawks were flat, just like they were against Colorado and Edmonton – two other awful, irrelevant teams. The Canucks are big fish in the Pacific Northwest, but quickly dismissed in any real conversations about the sport. Step aside and cheer for the BlackHawks as they win their second Cup in four years. It’s happening.

  19. Stiller43 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Sexist? How? And if they were black, it would have been racist, too?

    Give me a break. I’ll admit he was kind of a d*ck with his sarcastic answer. He was frustrated after a loss. I’m sure he just gets annoyed with ANYBODY (female or male) that analyzes the game like they know it, but theyve never even played it.

  20. manchestermiracle - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    That dismissing crap about “Oh, you’ve never played so you can’t comment” always cracks me up, especially when invoked by commenters here. None of us have ever been president either, so I guess that rule means you can’t comment on anything the president does. Right?

    Never played an instrument? Your opinion on music means nothing. I’ve never acted professionally or otherwise, but I know a crappy performance when I see one. How many doofuses are out there voting, but have never held public office? You can always tell when someone has no thoughtful or insightful response when they play that ridiculous card.

    • blackhawksfan54 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      What a ridiculous analysis.

      Who died and made you God? Judge not lest ye be judged and all that…

      Just because we have freedom of speech in this country does not mean we should be critics of everything either and/or abuse what that freedom- is.

    • blackhawksfan54 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Commentary like this should be expected- its the canuckleheads the hawks were playing against yesterday.

      Alain Vigneault has said worse in the media, some others have as well.

  21. hsnepsts - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Stan Bowman has never played hockey either. Apparently Duncan thinks your opinion isn’t worth anything.

    Duncan, sorry you got your panties in a bunch. You’re a sore loser.

    • kitshky - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Hey, this is a ridiculous “conversation” between Canucks and Blackhawks fans …leave your facts at the door!

  22. goathedxxx - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I believe it was sarcasm. And what people are forgetting is that the referee did call the penalty. The ref had raised his arm and then dropped it once the goal was scored. Male or female, it doesn’t matter; she asked if there should have been a penalty called (implying that the ref missed the call). I think she didn’t realize that the penalty had actually been called and that once Sedin scored; the penalty is negated. So, yes it was a stupid question and no it wasn’t sexism.

  23. blackhawksfan54 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Its the femi-nazis and the politically correct extremist folks who read too much into these types of comments when there is nothing there about them being sexist.

    Also there’s plenty of women who get jobs today they’re not qualified for. Had the supposed sports writer or ‘analyst’ knew the game, she probably wouldn’t have been called on her bs of knowing what she’s doing.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      “Daaaaa Bears!”

  24. jpat2424 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Don’t have a problem with his comment.

  25. rflashj - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Would it make a difference if the reporter was a Sedin?

  26. ewoods6 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    It is beyond pathetic that people are even talking about this being sexist.

  27. bigoldorcafromvan - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I really don.t think this is such a big deal. Way to much out of context. Besides Duncan Keith is not the sharpest knife in the drawer anyway.

  28. dumbassgreg - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    it was another simple athlete saying you never played the game. chicago does have women issues . they always refer to sedins as sisters. guess they think women are weak inferior. must have mel gibson religion in force.lmao. keith does semm to enjoy trying to hurt the sedin though. no reason to slash at that point.

  29. dt58 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    In regards to the reporters questions I think the more important question should be what the hell was she doing outside the kitchen? There, that’s sexist…

  30. blackhawks2010 - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Well done NBC, way to create a story where is isn’t one. I’d be more interested in hearing Keith describe his breakfast cereal choices.

  31. vanfoodman - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    A note to Duncan Keith, neither Eric Furlatt nor Tom Kowal, the two refs for the game against Vancouver, have any professional experience as ice hockey players. Does that make them unqualified?

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