On Wednesday night, during coverage of the 2021 NHL playoffs, Ron MacLean made a quip that led to outrage on social media as it was perceived to be "homophobic."
A video of the joke with the caption "Fire Ron MacLean by Pride Month. Thanks." had been viewed over 100,000 times on Twitter by the time of publication.
Addressing analyst Kevin Bieksa while wrapping up a segment, MacLean said, "You have a photo of a man with his tarp off, you're definitely positive for something." After the comment, MacLean's co-host Jennifer Botterill winced as MacLean tried to throw to commercial.
The comment was interpreted by many on social media as a joke suggesting that Bieksa is attracted to men and has AIDS.
Woke commenters on Twitter immediately called for MacLean to be removed from Hockey Night in Canada. "With today being about the fight for racial equality in the NHL, Ron MacLean saw it fit to perpetuate homophobia on national TV instead. Incredibly disappointing but honestly not surprising," one Twitter user said.
"Ron MacLean has contributed to hockey’s culture problem for decades, so this is unsurprising," another wrote.
Others pointed out that he "enabled" Don Cherry for years (whatever that means) and deserved to be fired for joking that Bieksa was gay.
The comment came during the intermission of a broadcast of the Montreal Canadiens vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs playoff tilt.
MacLean was largely silent when his longtime broadcasting partner Don Cherry was cancelled and mobbed out of his job on Remembrance Day 2019 for saying that recent immigrants to Canada should honour those who fought for our freedom and way of life they came here to enjoy.