And here you thought the biggest controversy out of the Minnesota State Boys Hockey Tournament was its unwillingness to give credentials to Michael Russo.
The former Star Tribune hockey ace was asked this week why he and the Athletic, the subscription sports site that's quickly entrenched itself in dozens of major markets, aren't covering the best high school hockey games this side of Saskatchewan. The answer was dumb, and (if Russo's to be believed [he is]) can be blamed on the Minnesota State High School League.
Sounds like discrimination. But if you feel bad for Michael Russo, imagine waking up black, and in a state with some of the worst racial disparities this side of Vladivostock... and then hearing what Doug McLeod said on the air while announcing a game for KSTC 45.
The independent Minnesota station was quick to yank McLeod's mic -- and to apologize -- after the announcer, who also calls University of Minnesota games for Fox Sports North, said White Bear Lake fans would "get out the lynching ropes" after Blaine High School scored a goal against them.
I'm guessing this is probably what got Doug McLeod pulled from the broadcast this afternoon. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/l6luIKYQBM— eli swanson (@eswany33) March 8, 2019
That this comment came during a contest of the whitest North American sport, pitting a suburban team (Blaine; 88 percent white, by city population) against an exurban team (White Bear Lake's whiteness "wins," with 90 percent) probably didn't make this ring any less racist-y. For God's sake, even the Bear is white.
McLeod, for his part, seems super white. A "screenwriter" and "novelist," according to his detailed LinkedIn page -- ask about his "multiple" Emmy Award wins (just kidding, don't) -- the mustachioed "voice talent" also brags about knowing how to run a "zero turnover workforce."
This claim might soon become ironic. As the Star Tribune reports, KSTC 45 booted McLeod from the broadcast after he joked about adults hanging high schoolers in the most tone deaf phrase this side of the Oval Office. Later, KSTP anchor Tom Hauser appeared on screen, saying the station was sorry "if you were offended" by an "inappropriate comment" aired during the game.
McLeod's been in major television markets since 1987, when he started broadcasting Pittsburgh Penguins games, and has been calling Gophers games since 2012... until now? Does he still have that gig?
Is Fox Sports North a "zero turnover workforce"? Because in some cases, a small amount of turnover's a good thing. Addition by subtraction, "moving on," "fresh start," "less racist-sounding phrases said on television." That sort of thing.
For the record, City Pages apologizes if the vision of Doug McLeod and his mustache offended you.
Blaine won the game over White Bear Lake 4-2, by the way, advancing to the semifinals of the Class 2A bracket. There have been no reports of lynchings, or of non-white people hanging out with Doug McLeod after the game.