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P.K. Subban Continues to Draw Criticism for Comments on NHL Broadcast Without Issuing A Clear Apology

ESPN simply hopes that viewers of their show will forget. However, P.K. Subban’s remarks from Tuesday night are still making news today. When commenting on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ performance during Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs against the Florida Panthers, the former NHL defenceman and current broadcaster was heavily criticized for calling out pop star Lizzo for being overweight. In response to ESPN co-host John Buccigross’ comment that Toronto should “pack a lunch,” in reference to the team’s lack of motivation, Subban responded:

Listen, maybe they need to pack a Lizzo-sized lunch,” Subban said, referring to the plus-size Grammy-winning rapper.

Fans criticized Subban for his statements about being fatphobic, and some even asked that ESPN terminates him.

Adam Proteau isn’t suggesting as blunt as that demand, only stating in his weekly recap around the NHL that Subban should apologize for his comments:

“There are much easier analogies to make than the one Subban used Tuesday. It’s not as if he were providing any insight with that comment. It only disappoints a hockey community that is continually attempting to attract people of all body types and backgrounds.

It was just unnecessary on a fundamental level, and even a charismatic personality like Subban has to be called out for this clear misstep. We’re glad he’s providing a perspective different than we usually get from run-of-the-mill NHL commentators, but this attempt at levity went over like a lead balloon. An apology and a learned lesson are due from him.”

However, Subban returned to ESPN on Wednesday for the opening game of the series between the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils to provide commentary throughout the breaks. He didn’t clarify or retract his remarks.

Maybe it’s too late now, but isn’t it better to start now than never?

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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