Kendall Coyne Schofield made her debut as an NHL analyst for NBCSN on Wednesday night and it didn’t take long before things got super-awkward for her.
At the game’s opening, analyst Pierre McGuire spoke with the USA gold medallist, who recently became the first woman to compete at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition.
At one point during the exchange, McGuire told Coyne Schofield, “We’re paying you to be an analyst tonight, not a fan.”
Coyne Schofield brushed past the comment, giving her opinion on the game.
On Twitter, viewers took McGuire to task for his cringeworthy remark, noting Coyne Schofield’s incredible accomplishments as a hockey player.
Coyne Schofield, though, didn’t see it that way. The hockey star released a statement Thursday on Twitter, writing, “I’ve known Pierre McGuire for years. I know he respects me as a hockey player, a woman, and a friend.”
She added, “And that’s why I didn’t think twice about our on-air exchange when it happened.”
Coyne Schofield continued, “I understand why people would think it was inappropriate; if I were watching it at home and saw a man say this to a woman athlete, I would have been offended. But what I also know is how excited Pierre was for me and to be a part of this moment. While I wish it came out differently, I know Pierre doesn’t question my hockey knowledge.”
Soon after, McGuire released a statement in response, explaining, “at times my excitement got the better of me and I should have chosen my words better.”