Olympic gold medallist Coyne Schofield defends Pierre McGuire over cringe-worthy exchange
But adds: 'If I saw a man say this to a woman athlete, I would have been offended'
NBCSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire was the target of social media backlash during and after his interview with Kendall Coyne Schofield on Wednesday during the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning.
It stemmed from McGuire's need to "mansplain" the sport of hockey to the Olympic gold medallist.
WATCH | Pierre McGuire mansplains to Kendall Coyne Schofield:
However, Coyne Schofield came to McGuire's defence on Thursday in a lengthy Twitter post.
"I know he respects me as a hockey player, a woman, and a friend and that's why I didn't think twice about our on-air exchange when it happened."
Still, Coyne Schofield adds that, "If I were watching it at home and saw a man say this to a woman athlete, I would have been offended."
This past week... <a href="https://t.co/h73xEA6QWc">pic.twitter.com/h73xEA6QWc</a>—@KendallCoyne
McGuire acknowledged the backlash on Thursday, saying in a statement: "At times my excitement got the better of me and I should have chosen my words better."
Statement from Pierre McGuire on last night: <a href="https://t.co/DF5Z8cqjk0">pic.twitter.com/DF5Z8cqjk0</a>—@KatieJStrang
People on Twitter bashed McGuire's remarks and even questioned who should really be explaining the sport.
Pierre, please calm down: <a href="https://t.co/61B8YVFzPX">https://t.co/61B8YVFzPX</a> <a href="https://t.co/iiv9pDHDAJ">pic.twitter.com/iiv9pDHDAJ</a>—@Deadspin
Kendall Coyne Schofield’s On ice accomplishments in the first 2 photos vs Pierre McGuire’s.......<br><br>Who knows the game of hockey better?<br><br>Sans Mansplaining needed <a href="https://t.co/5Z5ZSdv8zB">pic.twitter.com/5Z5ZSdv8zB</a>—@CarBombBoom13
Petition to permanently replace Pierre McGuire with Kendall Coyne—@Aaron_Kinney9
It didn't stop there. When McGuire compared the energy of the game to a Canada vs. USA Olympic matchup, Coyne Schofield said the only difference was that she wore a cage. McGuire continued to make viewers uncomfortable when he replied by saying, "I'll be your cage tonight, how about that."
"I'll be your cage tonight, how's that?<br><br>Pierre, please just stop. <a href="https://t.co/trmTyYLKob">pic.twitter.com/trmTyYLKob</a>—@CMS_74_
Pierre McGuire, a great example of how far the NHL, broadcast, and sporting world has to go in respecting female athletes and reporters.—@strettyit
Coyne Schofield and compatriot Brianna Decker, along with Canadian players Rebecca Johnston and Renata Fast, became the first women ever to compete alongside the NHL stars during the league's recent all-star weekend.
Coyne Schofield and Decker made the biggest splash in separate events. During the fastest skater competition, Coyne Schofield raced around the rink in a time competitive with the top skaters in the men's game in a barrier-breaking moment for women's hockey. Coyne Schofield came within a second of Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who won the event.
Decker then took to the ice for the passing challenger, where she was initially thought to have been clocked at one minute six seconds by fans on social media — about three seconds faster than eventual winner Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers. It was reported later that the NHL went back to check Decker's time and found that it was "around 1:12-13." However, that time still would have beaten several other male competitors.
Despite some of the positive strides that were made during all-star weekend, some fans think the NHL still has a long way to go in terms of respecting females in the sport.
WATCH | Kendall Coyne Schofield makes history at NHL Skills Competition:
Other fans also pointed out the inappropriate way McGuire approached Coyne Schofield for an interview after the skills challenge.
Uhhhhhh Pierre..? <a href="https://t.co/5a4Xurc63J">pic.twitter.com/5a4Xurc63J</a>—@HockeyCentraI
Coyne Schofield was able to break some of the gender barriers Wednesday night, but unfortunately there were some uncomfortable and cringe-worthy moments along the way. Still, one NHL team is hopeful there will be more opportunities for women.
Changing the game. 🙌<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TBLvsPIT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TBLvsPIT</a> <a href="https://t.co/nYbHnkXCmn">pic.twitter.com/nYbHnkXCmn</a>—@TBLightning