Hockey announcer gets fired mid-game for racist slur on the air

A minor-league hockey announcer in British Columbia was yanked from the broadcast booth and fired between periods of a playoff game Friday night for uttering a racist slur aimed at a player of Asian descent.

Bruce MacDonald, a color commentator for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the B.C. Hockey League, questioned whether an opposing team’s player -- Canadian-born Owen Kim -- could speak English. Kim, 17, was born in North Vancouver and will be attending Holy Cross University in Worcester, Mass. this fall.

MacDonald had been fired up as a local broadcaster when Kim -- who stands 5’7”” -- appeared to challenge a Bulldogs’ player to a fight. First, he said “Aw, Kim … give it a break. Get on a ladder and talk to him." And then this:

"Does he speak English? Maybe that's the problem.”

Then the fired-up MacDonald just got fired. David Michaud, president and governor of the Bulldogs, was watching the game in the arena, went to the broadcast booth after the 2nd period, and dismissed MacDonald on the spot, the Victoria Times Columnist reported.

Michaud, president and governor of the Bulldogs, referred to the 70-foot banner on the wall of the concourse in Weyerhaeuser Arena in Port Alberni, which reads: “There is no place in hockey for racism.” He said there was no other choice to be made if his club wants to live up to those words.

“It was a regrettable comment and we could not turn a blind eye to it. How do we as a club take part in anti-racism initiatives all over the valley, and then not react to something like this?”

MacDonald was contrite, the newspaper reported:

“I am so sorry that I have let you down. The Bulldogs have been a part of my life since Day 1. I am heartbroken that I caused it to end this way. I will do whatever I can to make this right. Racism has no place in hockey or anywhere else in this world. I’m truly sorry.”

Michaud acknowledged MacDonald’s apology, saying: “Sorry is good but words still have consequences.”

MacDonald’s broadcast partner, play-by-play announcer Evan Hammond, had immediately called out MacDonald on-air for his comment by saying: “OK, come on, that’s too far. No, that’s too far.” To which MacDonald had responded on-air, “That’s wrong. That’s too far.”

It was.

You can see a clip of the video here.