Reporter Pierre McGuire (L) was defended by Kendall Coyne Schofield (not pictured) after a controversial interaction between the two Wednesday night. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Hockey analyst Pierre McGuire came under scrutiny this week for appearing to condescendingly explain the sport to women's hockey star Kendall Coyne Schofield.
Coyne Schofield participated in last weekend's All-Star Game skills competition, and NBC invited the Olympic gold medalist to be a special guest analyst for the network's broadcast of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins matchup.
McGuire paired up with Coyne Schofield throughout the broadcast. Social media reacted unfavorable to McGuire's comments and accused the longtime analyst of "mansplaining."
Coyne Schofield issued a lengthy statement Thursday afternoon in defense of McGuire.
"I've known Pierre McGuire for years. I know he respects me as a hockey player, a woman, and a friend and that is why I didn't think twice about our on-air exchange when it happened," Coyne Schofield wrote on Twitter. "I didn't give it a second thought until after the game when I received countless messages.
"I went back and looked at the video. 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."
Shortly later, McGuire released a statement and professed his respect for Coyne Schofield.
"I've known Kendall for years and have had the privilege of covering her as a member of Team USA at the past two Winter Olympics," McGuire said. "We were all thrilled to have her join our coverage last night, but at times my excitement got the better of me and I should have chosen my words better. I have the utmost respect for Kendall as a world-class player, analyst of the game, and role model."
Coyne Schofield won five gold medals at the IIHF World Women's Championships and a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.