Skating union replaces commentators, apologizes for vulgar comment aimed at Canada's Duhamel

The International Skating Union has apologized and replaced its world championship commentators for vulgar comments aimed at Canadian Meagan Duhamel.

British announcer seemingly believed his mic was turned off

Meagan Duhamel, left, pictured celebrating her 2018 Olympic bronze medal with pairs partner Eric Radford, said she’s received apologies from British commentator Simon Reed and the ISU following vulgar comments made toward her on a hot mic. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The International Skating Union has apologized and replaced its world championship commentators for vulgar comments aimed at Canadian Meagan Duhamel.

British commentator Simon Reed called Duhamel, a two-time world pairs champion, "that bitch from Canada" at the end of Wednesday's pairs broadcasts, seemingly believing his mic was turned off.

Reed and fellow Brit Nicky Slater laughed after the comment.

"There is no place for harassing and abusive language or remarks and behaviour in sport and our society," the ISU said in a tweeted statement on Thursday. "The ISU took instant action with its service provider to suspend both commentators with immediate effect and neither will cover any future Figure Skating events for the ISU."

Duhamel — who won two world titles and an Olympic team title with Eric Radford — and other international skaters had been critical of numerous comments made by the Reed and Slater, who usually work for British Eurosport.

Duhamel, who's providing analysis for the Road to the Olympic Games broadcast of the world figure skating championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, said she received "personal apologies" from Reed and the ISU.

Both said the Russian skaters, who were banned from the event after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, were missed at the world championships. They said they couldn't tell how many rotations were in a jump since they don't follow skating. One called a 16-year-old skater "a sight for sore eyes."

"Hello @ISU_Figure! The commentators on your feed noting that a female partner is 'taller and heavier' is just not at all necessary and super inappropriate. That was just one of many ridiculous statements made today," pairs skater Kirsten Moore-Towers tweeted.

Reed's vulgar comment about Duhamel went viral, prompting international skaters such as Kaitlyn Weaver and Adam Rippon tweeting in support of the Canadian and stating they would buy merchandise emblazoned with the insulting phrase.

The world championships run through Sunday in Montpellier, France.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now