Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly told a reporter Friday morning that when it comes to work ethic he and his teammates can't, "be a girl about it."

"If you approach everyday like it's a chore to come to the rink that's the way its going to be, but you have to have put a positive outlook on it, you have to be able to put everything that's happening aside and just worry about doing your job...you're not here to be a girl about it," said Rielly.

The comments drew criticism on social media after the reporter, TSN radio's Jonas Siegel, posted the remarks on Twitter.  Many people considered his remarks to be sexist and inappropriate.

The uproar over Rielly's comments had him trending on Twitter most of the day. The 20-year-old offered an apology before Friday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It's a phrase that has to be taken out of today's society. I know that I can't be using that, It was just careless by me, I didn't mean it the way it was taken at all. I'm sorry for the way it came across," said Rielly.

Intense media pressure in Toronto

Rielly's remarks and the ensuing uproar came after former Leafs coach Paul Maurice commented about the intense media pressure in Toronto after Friday's Jets' practice.

"If you're saying something good about a player, he's a rock star, and if a guy has a tough night and you want to deal with the media honestly, you've got to be careful about how hard you go at his play because then the next day or maybe even that day, it's a drive-by shooting," Maurice said.

Maurice told reporters that a key to playing or coaching in Toronto is being aware and understanding the media market, saying there is a difference between the city and other markets elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.

"It takes a while to get a handle on it. I don't know that I ever did," Maurice said.

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With files from The Canadian Press