The home commentator for a minor league hockey team on Vancouver Island is under fire and out of a job after voicing a racist remark during a game last week.
Alberni Bulldogs commentator Bruce MacDonald was removed from Friday’s broadcast after asking if the opposing team’s forward, Langley Rivermen’s Owen Kim, could speak English.
“Ah, Kim… give it a break. Get on a ladder and talk to him,” said MacDonald, following a second-period scrap on the ice.
“Does he speak English? Anyhow, maybe that’s the problem,” he said.
— Mac Guardiero (@MacGuardiero) April 23, 2022
MacDonald’s comment was quickly met with backlash, including from play-by-play announcer Evan Hammond.
“C’mon, that’s too far,” Hammond said to MacDonald during the broadcast, which aired on 93.3 The Peak, a Port Alberni-based radio station.
According to the BC Hockey League (BCHL), following the comment, the Bulldogs were immediately informed and took action by axing MacDonald of his duties.
BCHL and Alberni Valley Bulldogs statement regarding a racist comment on tonight's broadcast. pic.twitter.com/X23QvZYnaF
— BCHL (@BCHockeyLeague) April 23, 2022
“We have a zero-tolerance for this type of behaviour, and Mr. MacDonald is banned from any future broadcast involving the Bulldogs or any other BCHL team,” reads a statement from the BCHL.
The league, together with the Bulldogs, apologized to Kim, a 17-year-old from North Vancouver, as well as his family and anyone else who may have heard the comment.
Pattison Media owns 93.3 The Peak, and on Saturday, general manager Rob Bye issued a statement apologizing to listeners, saying MacDonald’s comments were “extremely offensive” and “inappropriate.”
“Racism has no place in hockey. Racism has no place on our radio stations nor in our company,” said Bye.
— 93.3 The Peak (@933thepeak) April 23, 2022
MacDonald issued his own apology after the incident, saying, “I take full responsibility for my racist words. I’m deeply sorry for the hurt that I have caused Owen Kim, his family and anyone else who was affected by what I said.”
MacDonald wrote to Twitter that the Bulldogs had been a part of his life “since day one.” He says he’s “heartbroken” and “truly sorry.”
— Bruce MacDonald (@brucemacpro) April 23, 2022