If there's anyone who needs hockey explained to them, it's certainly not Kendall Coyne Schofield. Last night during NBCSN's broadcast of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Coyne Schofield made her debut as an analyst and got, at the very best, what can be described as an extremely awkward "pep talk" from veteran broadcaster Pierre McGuire.
"So Tampa's gonna be on your left, Pittsburgh's gonna be on your right," McGuire starts. "What're you expecting out of this game? We're paying you to be an analyst, not to be a fan tonight."
The text alone looks pretty bad, but the weird, patronizing and imploring tone McGuire has with Coyne Schofield makes it much worse. You could almost isolate the "Tampa's gonna be on your left" part and let it slide as some kind of visual indicator for the audience, but combined with the rest of it, it just rings out as pretty toxic. Who is the "we" in "we're paying you..."? Is Pierre cutting the checks over at NBC now? And while she certainly is a fan of hockey, she's also way more qualified to talk hockey than some schlub pulled from the stands.
Let's compare resumes, shall we? First in Pierre, we've got a guy who played college hockey, played one year in the Netherlands, and never sniffed an NHL roster spot. He was, however, a coach with the Hartford Whalers (hired with exactly zero previous head coaching experience) and fired after six months with a 23-37-7 record.
Coyne Schofield, on the other hand, just became the first woman to ever participate in the NHL ALL-Star Skills Competition on January 25 with a blistering 14.346-second lap around the ice, and won five gold medals at the IIHF World Women's Championships, not to mention an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 games. It's hard to imagine McGuire treating a male hockey player with that resume the same way.
Oh, and if all that weren't bad enough already: Coyne Schofield was a communications major at Northwestern and did some sideline reporting while she was at school.
UPDATE (3:30pm EST):
Coyne Schofield responded to all of the criticism that McGuire has been receiving by saying that, after knowing him for as long as she has, she didn't question McGuire's motive behind saying that at the time. But then realized why it was perceived to be offensive afterward:
McGuire also released a statement, citing the length of their relationship and saying that he wished he chose his words more carefully.
This article originally appeared on VICE Sports US.