Kendall Coyne became the first woman to compete in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition last weekend.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, hockey can appear like a blur of high-action, random stoppages and long intermissions. But to a professional hockey player, those things are second nature.
Kendall Coyne Schofield is a five-time World Championship gold medalist and helped the United States to capture gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award winner (given to NCAA's female hockey player of the year) is rather familiar with how hockey works.
Coyne Schofield joined NBC's broadcast of Wednesday's Lightning–Penguins game as a guest analyst. "Inside the Glass" reporter Pierre McGuire didn't seem to be aware that Coyne Schofield plays hockey at a high level, nonetheless understands how being in a broadcast booth works.
“Tampa’s going to be on your left, Pittsburgh’s going to be on your right," McGuire told Coyne Schofield on air. "We’re paying you to be an analyst, not be a fan tonight."
Umm... excuse, me? Now, if McGuire had been explaining this to a five-year-old, then sure. That would pass. But an Olympic gold medalist?
Apparently, McGuire's condescendence didn't stop there. As the broadcast went on, he continued talking to Coyne Schofield in a questionable tone.
Wednesday didn't mark the first time Coyne Schofield and McGuire had a rather awkward interaction. Last week, Coyne Schofield made history by becoming the first female to compete in the NHL All-Star skills competition, placing seventh out of eight players.
McGuire was on the ice and skated up to her during the event, coming a wee bit too close for comfort.
On Thursday, Coyne Schofield took to Twitter, defending McGuire while mentioning that she didn't find his tone or actions offensive.
"What IS important is for every young girl reading this to know it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of my hockey knowledge - because I do not doubt my hockey knowledge," Coyne Schofield wrote. "I didn't need a gold medal to come to that conclusion. I needed belief in myself. That took time to build and I would never let someone else undo all of that work on the ice - and especially off."
McGuire also issued a statement on the matter. "We were all thrilled to have [Coyne Schofield] join our coverage last night, but at times my excitement got the better of me and I should have chosen my words better," McGuire said in the statement, per The Athletic's Katie Strang. "I have the utmost respect for Kendall as a world-class player, analyst of the game, and role model."