Listen, I don't think Ron MacLean meant to upset anyone with his precarious 9/11 references during Wednesday night's CBC broadcast of the Rangers' Game 6 match-up with the Washington Capitals. The way I imagine it, Ron was kickin' back in a comfortable chair, mulling over his pre-game notes, and trying to come up with some punchy lead-in words. Perhaps he got to thinking about what New York City and Washington, D.C., have in common, and that made him think of September 11, and that made him think about bravery, and, you know, hockey players are brave, too, in a way, and ... yeah. It's like he dunked his head so deep into this fraught analogy that he forgot to resurface for a second and remind himself "Now, hold up, I'm a human adult who's about to compare a guy on ice skates slapping a rubber disc with a stick to an individual who risks his or her life to save that of another." And that's how you end up with a classic "This is stupid and offensive, but ... [something stupid and offensive]" moment.
Again, it wasn't mean-spirited. It was just a ham-fisted attempt at dramatization — MacLean, a Canadian, might not have fully understood the gravity of his reference — but, still, that's some dumb, offensive shit to say. A person who gets paid to talk about things in front of a massive audience should know better, and hopefully MacLean now does. Then again, the follow-up statement he and CBC released reads less like a retraction or clarification and more like, well, more nonsense. Oh well.