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Jon Cooper during a press conference
Photo credit: NHL.com

Lightning coach Jon Cooper apologizes for discriminatory comment

Published May 1, 2024 at 10:47

When the Tampa Bay Lightning arrived to speak with the media on locker room cleaning day, coach Jon Cooper opened with an apology for a sexist comment he made when they were eliminated.

»Quite frankly, it was wrong. I had to go explain myself to my girls. I sincerely apologize to all I offended. It's pained me more than the actual series loss itself. It was emotional, quite frankly dumb words that came out of my mouth the other night.»
-Jon Cooper

The comment Cooper is apologizing for was in reference to a few goaltender interference calls that occurred at a critical point of the Lightning's last game. Cooper thought the calls of goaltender interference were soft, saying that the NHL may as well put skirts on the goaltenders.

»Net front battles aren't allowed anymore? That's part of everybody's game. The boxing out that goes there is like prison rules in the playoffs, but it's not prison rules for the goalie? The second something happens.. We might as well put skirts on them then.»
-Jon Cooper

Simply put, this is an issue much bigger than hockey, which is reflected by the fact Cooper was more upset with this than the series loss. Cooper's comment drew on a stereotype that women are weaker or less able than men, and is totally outdated.

Collectively, we need to move on from these phrases of the past that put down groups of people. It's reassuring to see Cooper recognize how is comment was wrong and apologize for it.
May 1   |   110 answers
Lightning coach Jon Cooper apologizes for discriminatory comment

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