Ron Duguay starred for the New York Rangers in the 1970’s and 1980’s and is one of the most colorful characters in the history of the franchise. He currently serves as a studio analyst for MSG’s local coverage of the team. And on Sunday night he stepped into a bit of controversy.
Duguay was talking about the Rangers’ loss to the Los Angeles Kings and criticized the officiating for some of their calls throughout the game. Duguay said that the referees should have been doing a women’s hockey game because they were “kind of soft.”
The awkward pause before the awkward laughter says it all.
— West Coast Woj (@BryanWojtanik) January 22, 2018
So after you say something like that you come back later in the show, apologize, say you didn’t mean any harm, and that you have great respect for women’s hockey. Right? Wellll… kind of… Duguay returned later on in the show to try to rationalize it by saying there’s no hitting in women’s hockey and that’s why he talked about how “soft” the game was. And it’s complete with more awkward laughing.
Here is Ron Duguay’s clarification on that “reffing a women’s game” line earlier (forgive the radiator hissing) pic.twitter.com/CAXwAQUBB1
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 22, 2018
Maybe you could see where Duguay is coming from with the technicality of no hitting in women’s hockey, but using the word “soft” to describe it just evokes all the negative stereotypes that sports and society is trying to leave behind.
And one last thing – it’s never a great time to make a comment like that, but especially bad timing to do so on the same weekend when thousands of women are marching around the world for equal rights.