Penguins studio host apologizes for idiotic ‘I Can’t Breathe’ joke

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Stan Savran is a Pittsburgh Penguins studio host for ROOT Sports. He’s hip. He’s now. He’s using all the current lingo and references.

Like those T-shirts all the basketball players are wearing. The ones that say “I Can’t Breathe.” All the kids are talking about it! So Savran watched the first period of the Penguins’ game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had a suffocating defense in the opening 20 minutes.

Suffocate … “I Can’t Breathe” … the need to have a cheeky transition to every highlight package … Savran’s brain spit this forth:

“I thought Jay the Penguins would have to put on those ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts for a while, because Columbus was suffocating.”

Oh. Dear. God.

A longer look:

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Stan Savran, "Penguins Can't Breathe" from Patrick M on Vimeo.

The “I Can’t Breathe” shirts are, of course, a reference to the strangulation death of Eric Garner by New York police officers, who were not charged in the incident. It’s a symbol of outrage against alleged police brutality without consequences.

Someone apparently told Savran that this wasn’t exactly playing well with the viewers, and he apologized via Twitter:

I can't express how sorry I am for my mindless comment. Certainly wasn't intended to make light of a tragic situation. Totally unacceptable

— Stan Savran (@StanLoveTheShow) December 14, 2014

and just plain stupid. It's now how I've conducted myself during my career. Again, I apologize and hope you can forgive me.

— Stan Savran (@StanLoveTheShow) December 14, 2014

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Hey, things happen. It's not like he made light of an aviation fatality or anything.

No word if Savran made a reference to "Selma" in segment two. 

s/t Pete Blackburn