On Wednesday morning, Ron MacLean started trending for all of the wrong reasons on social media. Last night, MacLean put himself in a dangerous position as he attempted to make a joke during the national broadcast of Game 4 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. His comment led to outrage on social media as it was perceived to be “homophobic” with different videos of the footage quickly going viral. As analyst Kevin Bieksa was wrapping up a segment, MacLean said, “You have a photo of a man with his tarp off, you’re definitely positive for something.”
Bieksa often changes pictures on his shelf behind him as he analyzes the NHL playoffs. MacLean's comment was interpreted by many on social media as a joke suggesting that Bieksa is attracted to men and has AIDS.
However, it seems like some other fans - possibly more reasonable - can explain MacLean’s comments otherwise. And you have to admit it makes sense:
“MacLean was referencing a picture shown in an earlier segment featuring (I think) Anthony Stewart and Bieksa in a locker room pic. MacLean then noted how “jacked” the athletes were (shirtless of course). The second “joke” is a continuation of the first - positive for steroids.”
The footage on most tweets from outraged fans is taken out of context and can lead to the conclusion that MacLean was making homophobic comment.
Fans have been demanding that Sportsnet fire MacLean, pointing out his inappropriate and offensive his seemingly odd attempt at humour was. However, the company and MacLean himself could explained it that way too.
We all remember that Don Cherry was fired more than a year ago for racist comments he made on the air. MacLean was mostly silent when his longtime broadcasting partner got the boot for saying that recent immigrants to Canada should honour those who fought for our freedom and way of life they came here to enjoy. Cherry later commented that he was disappointed in his friend’s lack of support.
What do you make of this?