Since many of us are in the New York area, we didn’t get the chance to see how the CBC opened its night of coverage of the Rangers-Capitals game. So we didn’t get to see how Ron MacLean actually compared the players to emergency responders.
I cannot begin to describe how outraged I am watching that video, and I’m sure many others are now feeling the same way. Many of us lived through the Sept. 11 attacks. We either know someone who died or we know someone who lost a loved one that day. My experiences are unique in that I was a reporter on that awful day and in the days after. In those days I also got to meet the FDNY Rescue One survivors.
I also know many, many firefighters and police officers and call many of them friends. I’ve covered fires. I’ve covered horrific car accidents. I’ve watched these guys train. I even have had a chance to put on firefighting gear and go into a controlled burning building, which has given me a unique view on what these guys do every day.
It’s an understatement to say it’s offensive to compare what those guys go through regularly is anything like what these hockey players face. To say I was offended (and still am) by MacLean’s words doesn’t go far enough.
What’s ironic about MacLean’s comments is the Rangers themselves have said numerous times what they do is nothing in comparison to what firefighters, police and soldiers do every day.
Last September the Rangers visited several firehouses in advance of the Sept. 11 anniversary, and this is what John Tortorella told NHL.com:
“We’re always looking for heroes in sports — the winning goal, the touchdown — that’s it there, that’s the real stuff. Let’s face it, in the sports world we live in a bubble — that’s the real stuff there. They’re the real heroes, not us. You’re darn right it’s emotional.”
I do think MacLean didn’t think there was any harm in what he said, but he should apologize. He’s talking about two cities that suffered a massive tragedy more than 10 years ago. We may have moved on, but it still stings deep inside and always will.
Filed Under: Rangers
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