NBC hockey analyst Mike Milbury apologized for his offensive comments made on a Philadelphia radio station on Monday in which he had interesting things to say about the Pittsburgh Penguins and star forward Sidney Crosby.
Here is the part of Milbury's controversial comments on Crosby from his radio interview with 94WIP in Philadelphia:
“Little goody two shoes [Crosby] goes into the corner and gives a shot to Schenn. Schenn was late to the party, he should have turned around and drilled him right away, but I guess better late than never,” Milbury said. “So you know, Crosby gets cross-checked, big whoop. He said after he came back from his 35th concussion, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore, I’m not going to get into this scrums, I’m going to stay away from that stuff.’ He couldn’t help himself because there’s a little punk in Crosby. He’s not the perfect gentleman. He’s not the sweet kid you see in interviews with his hat pulled down over his eyes. I’d say screw him, hit him,” he said.
“There’s a lot to settle after that.”
On Tuesday, the NBC analyst apologized for his comments, saying via Pro Hockey Talk:
“I reached out to David Morehouse and the Penguins about the comments I made yesterday on Philadelphia radio,” Milbury said. “In hindsight, I realize what I said was inappropriate and wrong, and I want to apologize to the Penguins organization and their fans.”
While Milbury is entitled to have an opinion, mocking Crosby's concussion issues and saying he's come back from 35 of them is uncalled for. Even making a slight joke about it is wrong.
I think many NHL fans would agree with Milbury when he says Crosby is not a perfect gentleman. The Penguins star does get away with stuff like slashes that aren't penalized, but taking a shot at his health issues is out of bounds.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero had a problem with Milbury's comments on Crosby, saying via ESPN:
"It’s fine to have an opinion on players but when you’re making light of concussions, that’s not right,” said Shero.
"This is an issue that is at the forefront of our league right now and to make light of these concussions is a real lame attempt at humor. He should know better than this.’’
Milbury didn't need to mention Crobsy's concussion history because none of the storylines from Sunday's heated battle between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers involved the star's health. I love that Milbury is outspoken and speaks his mind, but he cannot cross the line.
Should NBC fire Milbury?
Sure, Crosby may have committed some blatant penalties during Sunday's game that weren't called, but that's no excuse for Milbury to bring concussions into the equation. That's gutless and makes him look even more foolish than many hockey fans already think he is.
Another apology should come from NBC Sports. It's unacceptable for the network that has the national TV rights to the NHL in the United States to say nothing about this incident. It doesn't look good when their most outspoken hockey analyst makes offensive comments about the game's biggest star.
Milbury has apologized, but does anyone think this will stop him from saying something he shouldn't in the future?
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston.