Mike Milbury broadcasts from NHL playoffs after ‘disparaging’ remarks about women


Mike Milbury will not appear on NBC Sports’ coverage for the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he said Saturday. The news comes a day after the NHL condemned Millbury’s on-air comments that the players are not so distracted as there are no “insensitive and abusive” women in the league’s bubble.

“In keeping with my recent remarks, I have decided to step down from my role at NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” Milbury said in a statement released by the network. “I don’t want my presence to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the biggest trophy in the game.”

Millbury was scheduled to work at the Philadelphia Flyers-Montreal Canadiens game on Friday night, but NBC sidelined him. The 68-year-old former general manager of the New York Islanders made the comments during the broadcast of the Islanders’ series-clinic victory over the Washington Capitol on Thursday night.

Milbury and analyst Brian Boucher were discussing the benefits of the NHL’s playoff bubble.

“If you think about it, it’s a terrific atmosphere – if you enjoy playing and being with your teammates for a long time, it’s the perfect place,” Boucher said.

“Not even any woman to hinder your concentration,” Millbury replied.

The NHL said it communicated its concerns to NBC, noting that Millbury’s remarks did not reflect the league’s “value and commitment to making our sport more inclusive and welcoming to all”.

Milbury apologized on Friday.

“It was not my purpose to disrespect anyone,” Milbury said in a statement. “I was trying to be irrelevant and took it too far. It was a regrettable mistake that I take seriously.”

This is not the first time Millbury has been flagged for insensitive comments about women on Broadband. In 2012, he said that Penguins coach Dan Bielsma “should have taken off his skirt and been there” during a scuffle in a game. In 2011, Millbury called the Canucks players Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin “Thelama and Lewis”.

Milbury expressed disagreement about women’s hockey on a broadcast earlier this month. During the second period of the qualifying-round matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Canadiens, Milbury said playing on an empty field was like being in a college women’s hockey game.

Several women’s hockey programs took umbrage and denied the tweet.

Earlier this year, NBC Sports gave ways to inappropriate comments about colleagues with one of its key analysts, Jeremy Ronik. In an appearance on the Barstool Sports Podcast, Ronik repeatedly commented on the appearances of analyst Patrick Sharp and lead host Catherine Tappan. Ronik said that if he, his wife and Tapan are “going to bed together … it would be really cool, but that’s not going to happen.”

Runic is currently suing NBC for wrongful termination. In the lawsuit, Ronik alleges that she was discriminated against because she is a straight male.

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