December 08, 2010
On TSN's between-periods panel discussion Tuesday night, analyst Darren Pang juxtaposed controversial Montreal Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban(notes) with another young defenseman in Alex Pietrangelo(notes) of the St. Louis Blues, whom he believes does things on and off the ice "the right way."
Only Pang didn't say "right"; he said "white." And since Subban is black (as some Habs fans have noticed) and Pietrangelo is white, this became one of those unfortunate verbal gaffes on live TV during which you could actually hear tires screeching before the crash:
Later in the show, TSN made time for Pang to address his "tongue twisted" comments:
As Pang said: an honest mistake, even if the cynical among us will view it as a Freudian slip. But it does speak to some hypersensitivity in coverage in Subban, who is quickly becoming one of the most prominent black players in the NHL.
For example, CBC analyst Glenn Healy's words were scrutinized in the Globe & Mail after he said Subban was having "none of this monkey business" during a scrum. Columnist Bruce Dowbriggin wrote: "the incident illustrates the new sensitivities of modern broadcast etiquette in Canada’s multiracial culture"